Many homeowners dream of having a swimming pool. They can be a fun backdrop to special gatherings or family time. There are 10.4 million residential swimming pools in America, according to the Pool and Hot Tub Alliance. In Florida alone, there are 1.59 million residential pools.

While pools can be a great feature to the home, they are also a source of additional responsibility as there can be some associated risks. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are approximately 3500 drownings each year in pools. There are also thousands of injuries stemming from pools. Homeowner’s insurance for homes with pools will look different than coverage for those without pools. Here are some tips to consider for keeping people safe and ensuring you have the correct coverage.  

The Right Coverage 

If you are either thinking of installing a pool or have a pool, it is important to consult your current homeowner’s policy to see what it covers. Is there coverage for a pool? It is also important that you communicate with your insurer if your homeowner’s insurance does not cover pools but you plan to put one in. As a result of having a pool, your premium can increase. 

Some homeowners’ insurance policies cover damages that happen to the pool itself. For instance, a hurricane knocks over a pool and causes significant disrepair. Some insurance policies may also have liability coverage if there is an accident in the pool to a person—but not the pool itself. And, even if the policy does include liability, the amount of coverage can vary.

Consider consulting with an attorney to discuss what level of liability coverage will help protect you in the case of an accident. For instance, you may just think that you need coverage for the people in your home that use the pool. There are other scenarios that you may not consider—for instance, a guest or even an uninvited person has an injury in your pool. Pools can be known as an “attractive nuisance.” This means that people are attracted to use them, even if they are not actually invited to use them, and which can result to injuries

Preventing Claims

Not every incident involving your pool is preventable. However, there are things that you can do to minimize damages and/or occurrences and things that may be required by the insurance company or, if optional, can lower what you pay for the premium.

Supervise Guests

When you explicitly invite guests to your home, make sure that they are supervised. It is best to now allow guests to use your pool when you are not home. In the case of children or adults who cannot swim, make sure that those people are supervised at all times.

Post Rules

If you visit a pool in a hotel or health club, you will notice that they post rules. It may be helpful to do the same thing at your home. Do not feel bad about making rules, posting them and—importantly—enforcing them. For instance, do not let guests run on the pool deck. Also, do not let guests swim when the weather is not good. Even though guests may want to continue to enjoy the pool with the threat of a storm, things could easily turn dangerous.

Turn Filters Off When In the Pool

Pool filters serve to keep the debris and bacteria out of the pool. While they should be on when people are out of the pool, one way to avoid incidents is to turn them off when people are enjoying the pool.

Place a Fence Around the Pool

Fences are one of the best ways to prevent injury, particularly for small children. Consult with an attorney or other professional if you have questions concerning fencing, including the height or type of fence required.

Properly Maintain the Pool

One of the best ways to keep guests safe and protect yourself is to have the pool inspected as often as is necessary by an expert. They can help identify any areas that are unsafe or require maintenance. Additionally, homeowners should inspect their own pools as they clean them.

Speak to a Homeowners’ Insurance Attorney 

Contact our office today at 321-283-5888 to speak with one of our homeowners’ insurance attorneys if you would like to discuss the particulars of your situation. We present the material contained on our website and pages, including this Blog, for general informational purposes only. It does not constitute the rendering of legal advice and does not create any attorney-client relationship. If you need legal or other professional advice, you should consult with legal counsel about your particular facts and circumstances. Contact us to see how we may be able to fight for you!