How Does A Swimming Pool Affect Your Home Insurance?
Having a swimming pool is almost every kid's wish, and is part of the American Dream to many. Pools bring hours of fun in the sun, but owning a pool comes with responsibility.
If you own a home with a pool or are thinking of putting in a pool, you should have an idea of how it may interact with your home insurance policy. Swimming pools, along with things like trampolines, are considered an "attractive nuisance". This basically means you, as the homeowner, can be (and probably will be) liable for others that use your pool, even if they do not have permission.
Myrtle Beach is currently exploding with new construction and new pool installs. A pool can definitely impact your Homeowners Insurance, so let's look at the how and why.
Does adding a pool increase my home insurance premium?
The answer is - yes, usually. Here are two ways your home insurance premium could increase if you add a pool.
- Coverage for the pool itself. If you add a pool, you should contact your insurance agent to see if you need to increase your coverage.
- Generally Coverage B (Other Structures) in a Home Insurance Policy applies to an inground pool. Some policies come with a limit of coverage high enough already, but in most cases you will need to increase this amount. You want your coverage limit to be enough to fully replace your pool and any other detached structures on the premise, like a fence or gazebo. Of course, increasing limits of coverage on your policy will increase your premium. For a basic or standard type of pool, you aren't talking about tons of money though.
- Generally Coverage C (Personal Property) in a Home Insurance Policy applies to an above ground pool. Pretty much the same goes for this - you want to make sure your limit of coverage is enough to fully replace your pool, along with all of your other personal property.
- Liability coverage for the homeowner. Make sure your Home Insurance Policy includes liability coverage for your pool. Insurance applications almost always ask if the insured has a pool, the carrier wants to know what they are insuring. And, some insurance carriers do charge extra premium (for liability) if there is a pool on premise. In addition, you should consider increasing your liability limit to 300,000 or 500,000. The cost to do this is pretty minimal, in the ballpark of $20 - $50 for the year.
So, for a little summary here - in our experience (at Davis Insurance Associates), having or adding a pool may increase your Home Insurance premium by a couple hundred dollars. Again, it differs so much between insurance carriers and amount of coverage you need.
Does my home insurance policy cover damage to my pool?
We touched on this above. Unless you have spoken to your insurance agent and increased coverage already, your policy probably does not properly cover your pool. Assuming you and your insurance agent have properly covered your swimming pool, it should be covered for the "covered perils" in your insurance policy, such as a falling object or fire. Damage caused by freezing water is usually not covered.
What are the insurance requirements for a swimming pool?
Insurance requirements for a pool vary by company. In Myrtle Beach and pretty much all of South Carolina, almost all insurance companies want the following:
- They want to see the pool filled with clean water and being used for its purpose. Empty pools are usually a no-no (some exceptions may apply when drained for winter).
- No diving board or slide.
- 4 foot (or higher) fence with self-latching gates that completely surround the pool. In some areas a natural border, such as a dense bush or shrub wall, can be accepted.
- A locking cover is usually required for a stand-alone hot tub.
- Other requirements may be needed based on the insurance carrier or other factors.
Pool safety tips:
- Install proper barriers, covers, and alarms on and around your pool and spa.
- Ensure your pool has compliant drain covers.
- Inspect your pool regularly and make repairs as needed.
- Teach children to stay away from drains.
- Teach children how to swim.
- Never leave a child unattended in or near water.
- Clearly post safety rules.
- Have lifesaving and cleaning equipment nearby and easily accessible.
- Learn how to perform CPR on children and adults, and update those skills regularly.
- Keep glass away from pool areas.
- Take full responsibility - review all safety rules and guidelines for your area.
Consider getting an Umbrella policy:
Since pools increase the chance someone may get hurt on your property, you should really consider getting an Umbrella policy. The basics of an Umbrella Policy is that it will provide additional liability coverage above your home or auto policy (and boat, golf cart, etc. if you own those as well). Umbrella Policy limits start at 1 million and commonly go up to 5 million. Your premium will depend on several things such as: how many drivers (and driving records), number or vehicles plus boats, motorcycles, golf carts, etc., number or properties, and other factors. 1 million coverage may cost you as low as $200 per year.
At least have the conversation about obtaining an Umbrella Policy with your insurance agent.
Pool safety and insurance | III
In summary - Call your insurance agent before and after you by that house with a pool or before you add a pool to discuss any implications it may have. It is probably not as expensive as you think to increase your Home Insurance Policy limits to better protect you.
This blog is not meant to address every concern regarding owning or adding a pool, but a general guide of how a pool may affect your Home Insurance. Guidelines may be similar or different outside of South Carolina - further research should be done for your specific market.
We are your local independent insurance agency for Myrtle Beach providing you with peace of mind at a price that's right for you. Let Davis Insurance Associates help you find affordable Home Insurance in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.
Are you ready to get a Myrtle Beach Home Insurance quote? Call (843) 213-0000 or click HERE!
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