A pool in your backyard is an enjoyable luxury, but your insurance company doesn’t see it that way. As far as insurance companies are concerned, a pool can be a danger and a liability, and you might be charged accordingly on your homeowner’s premium. Expect to pay more for insurance when you put in a pool, but also investigate the things you can do to reduce the risk and your premium.
Your pool is officially termed an “attractive nuisance” by your insurance company. That means it creates a risk that a child may be attracted to trespass on your property, use the pool without your knowledge and be at risk of injury or death. You can be held legally liable for any such incident; hence the concern of your insurance company. When you put in a pool you should always disclose the change to your insurance agent, otherwise you could find that your insurer refuses to cover any claims.
In a lot of circumstances you will pay more in premiums when you install a pool, but the amount of the increase can vary depending on your insurer, your location and how you situate and build your pool. If you live in the South where winters are mild and many houses have pools, your rate is likely to climb less than if you live in a colder climate where pools are a rarity. If your pool is visible from the street you're likely to pay more than if it's discreetly tucked away behind your property. If you can, consult an agent before you begin to build, to take these factors into account.
Most insurers will recommend that you increase your liability coverage from the standard $100,000 to as much as $500,000, and will quote you accordingly. The premium increase could be minimal in a warmer climate where the cost of insuring a pool is sometimes already factored into premiums. In some parts of the country, you could be adding between $50 and $75 to your premium. It is worth shopping around to see if other insurance companies are more competitive than your current coverage when you install a pool.
Opting for Higher Coverage
If you are particularly concerned about the liability risk that your pool presents you can opt for fuller insurance coverage by purchasing an umbrella policy. This is a policy that relates particularly to the pool itself, and will provide up to $1 million in liability coverage in addition to what’s provided by your regular policy. This can cost between $200 and $300 in addition to your regular premium. Discuss this with your insurance agent before making a decision.
Complying with Conditions
It’s highly likely that your insurance company will impose conditions on you when you want to include a pool in your policy. You will need to surround the pool with a secure fence with a latch not easily accessible to young children. You may be asked to install a secure pool cover. You may be asked not to install equipment such as a slide or diving board that could increase the risk of injury to anyone using the pool. Safety measures may also lead to a break on your premium increase.
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