Pool Safety Tips and Insurance Considerations

Posted on Jun 27, 2022
Pool Safety Tips and Insurance Considerations

Having a swimming pool in your house can be a fun way of adding more value to your life.  But a swimming pool can have risks like pool injury and accidents, including drowning.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in the U.S., children ages 1-4 have an increased chance of dying from drowning.  For children ages 1-14, drowning remains the second largest cause of unintentional death after car crashes.

Why is pool safety important?

Accidents from a swimming pool can range from slipping and falling and electrocution to injuries and drowning incidents.  Injuries and accidents in your swimming pool can cost you thousands of dollars in the form of medical bills and expensive lawsuits.

Homeowner’s Insurance and Pool Accidents

Installing a pool on your premises can be problematic if your homeowner’s insurance does not appropriately cover you.  There are two aspects of coverage to consider: property coverage and liability coverage.

Property Coverage

Your property coverage may differ depending on the type of your pool.

  • In-ground pools are detached from homes and considered separate structures.  The insurance generally covers 10% of your dwelling coverage.
  • Above-ground pools are considered a part of your property.  The insurance is provided as a percentage of your dwelling insurance coverage.

If adequately covered, your homeowner’s insurance will help you pay for repair work or replacement to your pool because of wind, storms, fire, theft, and vandalism on the property.

Liability Coverage

To protect yourself adequately, you need to increase the liability portion of your homeowner’s policy in proportion to your assets. Liability coverage can help you cover third-party injuries and property damage because of pool accidents such as slips and falls, electrocution, and drowning.

You should also consider an umbrella liability policy to provide additional liability

As a pool owner, you could be liable for any child-related pool accidents where-

  • Your pool is determined to be inherently dangerous; and 
  • You have failed to take the steps needed to make the pool safe for children.

A typical homeowner policy has liability coverage of between $100,000 and $300,000.  As a pool owner, you can increase the coverage to $500,000 to provide adequate coverage for injury and damages arising from pool accidents.

If you choose to include an umbrella policy in your home insurance, it may cost you $200 to $300 a year but can provide an additional $1 million or more if you so choose in liability coverage.

Common pool hazards and safety measures

Most injuries and pool accidents happen because of slipping and falling by people, especially children running or walking around the pool.  Other common accidents are injury and electrocution from diving boards, slides, and other pool toys.

In addition to the personal safeguards to prevent poolside accidents, you must comply with your city or town’s laws regarding pool safety standards and building specifications.  Also, make sure to work with your home insurance company to get yourself adequate coverage.

Here are some safety measures you can take before and after building your pool to protect yourself against hazards.

  • Put a barrier, like a fence or a perimeter around the pool, to monitor unsupervised entry into the swimming pool area.  You can install a fence with self-closing doors or an alarm on the door leading to the pool area to prevent children and other unsupervised guests from venturing into the pool area.  To add to the security, you can add layered protection in the form of alarms, locks, and pool safety covers to avoid pool accidents and injuries.
  • Create a list of the safety rules and put them in an area widely visible to inform the pool users on ways to stay safe while using the pool.
  • Store a first aid kit, a list of the emergency numbers, and safety devices like buoys and reaching instruments for immediate help in case of accidents and injury.
  • Learn and teach your family members how to swim and basic water rescue skills, like CPR and using first aid to accident victims.
  • Keep the pool area free from hazardous materials, like glass, and never allow children to swim unsupervised.
  • Limit the use of alcohol or other intoxicating substances around the pool area.
  • Store chemicals away from the pool area and make sure the electrical devices are plugged into a GFCI (ground fault circuit interrupter).

By following the necessary safeguards and providing adequate coverage in your homeowner’s insurance policy for pool-related accidents and injuries, you can have a great time using your pool to create beautiful memories in the times to come.

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