Summer’s here and the sun is out. One of the best ways to cool off from the heat on a hot summer day is by taking a dip in a swimming pool. If you’re considering adding a pool to your backyard or buying a house that has one, congratulations! You are taking a step that can both increase the value of your home and enhance your enjoyment of it. Before you buy, there are some important insurance considerations you’ll want to keep in mind, particularly when deciding whether you’ll want to add an in-ground pool or an above-ground pool. The tips below can help make sure you’re properly equipped with all you need to know about insurance for both in-ground and above-ground pools.
Coverage for the Pool Structure
One important difference between an in-ground pool and an above-ground pool is that since an in-ground pool is literally a fixture or a physical part of the property you own, it is (or should be) covered by your homeowners insurance policy, while an above-ground pool is not. If you purchase a house that already has an in-ground pool, your pool will be covered right off the bat by the home insurance policy you buy. If you decide to add a pool while you’re living there, you will need to inform your insurance agent in case the pool (and the added risks that accompany it) require you to pay increased premiums. Insurance for your in-ground pool will cover it in case of damage by things like lightning, theft, vandalism, or frozen pipes.
An above-ground pool, which literally sits on top of the land you own and can be removed at any time without permanent damage to the property, is not considered to be a physical fixture of your house. Thus, above-ground pools require additional coverage to properly protect them and should be considered personal property when seeking insurance.
Pools of any kind are considered to be an “attractive nuisance,” meaning that they attract people to them but also put those people at risk. Thus, homes with either type of pool require more liability protection than homes without a pool. Most homeowners insurance policies automatically include some liability protection, but if you have or are adding a pool to your yard, you’ll want to be sure to increase your coverage so that it will protect you in case of unexpected injury or death caused by the pool. A great option for many pool owners is to purchase an umbrella liability policy that is large enough to cover things like ambulance charges, hospital care, or long-term medical costs in case of an emergency.
There are lots of exciting things pool owners can add onto a pool to make them more exciting to use, like water slides, diving boards, or fountains, but anything that increases the potential danger of your pool also increases the amount you will have to pay for insurance. In fact, in some states, insurance companies will refuse to cover pools with these added structures because they pose too much of a risk for users. So, before you add anything onto your pool, make sure the investment will be worth it for you.
Additionally, adding safety features to your pool can help control your insurance premiums and also eliminate the potential of accidental injury. These safety precautions include building a fence with a locked gate around the pool structure, as well as situating the pool more than 50 feet from your home, since burst pipes and leaks from your pool can also pose a threat to the structure of your home.
If you have an in-ground or above-ground pool or are considering adding one, call us for more advice at 757-583-1828 or to get a new Virginia homeowners insurance quote.