Make Sure You Have Sufficient Homeowner's Insurance For Your Swimming Pool
Policyholders are naturally distraught when they learn that their homeowner's insurance doesn't cover certain types of damage to their swimming pool. That discovery typically occurs after an expensive problem has developed. Liability insurance also may not be sufficient if certain pool features are present.
Home insurance pays for liability expenses if anyone is ever injured on the property, and that generally includes in or around a swimming pool. However, some policies do not provide any liability coverage if the pool has a diving board. In other cases, a policy may provide liability coverage but exclude any situations involving injuries resulting from diving board use.
If the pool is not surrounded by a fence with a securely latching gate, the policy may exclude any liability coverage. Some insurers require the fence to be at least a certain height. The policy may even require the fence to be made of materials that aren't easily climbed, which excludes chain-link fencing.
Homeowners insurance typically pays for damage to the pool or pool equipment resulting from vandalism, fire, lightning, a hailstorm or a tree falling. That's the same type of coverage policyholders get for buildings and other structures on the property.
Policies typically have exclusions for certain situations. For example, it would seem that insurance coverage should pay for in-ground pool crack repairs when damage results from normal ground shifts. However, this usually isn't the case.
Similarly, most insurance policies don't pay expenses for any property damage – and not just to swimming pools – resulting from earthquakes. Homeowners typically need to add this coverage separately, just as they need to add flood insurance separately.
The cost of repairing and replacing in-ground pools that lift up out of the earth, an incident commonly called a pop-out, generally is not covered. This may occur after a pool is drained and becomes susceptible to pressure from groundwater pushing it upward. An insurance policy may specifically state that any structural damage resulting from underground water pressure is not covered.
What You Can Do Now
Contact your insurance agent to find out what types of coverage your existing home insurance provides in regard to pools.
If you need to make changes to the policy, discuss whether those options are available through your current insurer. You may be able to keep your current insurer and add extra coverage. This might be in the form of a swimming pool rider or additional detached structure coverage. If that's not possible, contact an independent insurance agent to help you find an insurer that's right for your property.
Contact a company like United Counties Insurance Group for more information and assistance.