Swimming pools can be a lot of fun. They give you a way to cool off during the summer, have fun with friends and family, and even get some low-impact exercise that feels more like play than work. Unfortunately, they can also be a hazard if you aren’t careful around them. As a result, your homeowner’s insurance company is going to want to know about that pool, since it creates a new point of liability.
If your home already had a pool when you bought it, your insurance company would have wanted to know about it when you first took out the policy. If you’re installing a new pool, you’re still going to have to tell them, and they’ll adjust your rate accordingly. Let’s take a look at pools and insurance to give you a better idea of how your insurance company sees your new pool and what you can do to keep those rates in check.
How Do Insurance Companies See Swimming Pools?
Swimming pools are classified as an “attractive nuisance” by insurance companies, meaning that they are potentially dangerous and have an appeal that could attract children and others to them. The attractive nature of a swimming pool creates a liability on your part, leaving you responsible for any injuries or other incidents that occur in relation to the pool. The large amount of water that they hold as well as work-heavy components such as filter pumps also subject pools to a lot of wear and tear, and failure to properly maintain a pool can actually cause insurance companies to deny claims that occurred because of a lack of regular maintenance.
It’s worth noting that insurance companies view above-ground pools differently than they do in-ground pools. Above-ground pools are considered personal property and usually classified as an “external structure”, while in-ground pools are generally viewed as a feature of the property. This can affect not only how your liability is calculated but also how your policy covers repairs for any damage that occurs to your pool.
When to Tell Your Insurance Company
For the most part, you aren’t required to tell your insurance company when you start to install a swimming pool. Instead, you’re required to inform them once the swimming pool is complete and before it’s put into service. This means that you don’t necessarily have to let your insurance company know as soon as you contact a pool installer, but you do have to let them know once installation is wrapping up and before you actually start using the pool.
The reason for this is that many pool installers have to schedule installations in advance, and in some cases may run into delays or other setbacks that cause them to reschedule. Depending on when you contract your installation, you could schedule it weeks or even months in advance of the pool actually being ready. It can be a good idea to let your insurance company know that you’re looking to install a pool in the future, but they won’t adjust your policy until the pool is in place and ready to start being used.
Safe Pool Installation
Reducing liability is an important part of pool ownership. This includes things like installing a fence around the pool, setting up monitors or alarms to let you know if anyone is around the pool without permission, and installing non-slip walkways or putting other safety measures into place around the pool’s perimeter. In some areas these are required by law, but they are still a good idea even if they aren’t legally required.