The warm summer months are upon us and if you’re like many others, you’ve been seriously contemplating the pros and cons of building a swimming pool in your yard. It doesn’t matter if the pool is in the ground or above. It comes with a considerable amount of risk.
There is no way around the fact that owning a swimming pool will have an affect on the cost of your homeowners insurance. Swimming pools are considered a liability because of the potential for injury in and around the pool area. Pools are also known as an “attractive nuisance.” They are, in other words, something that attracts the interest of a child – either already on your property or by tempting him/her to trespass on your property – and could cause injury or death. The increase in your homeowners insurance costs may vary depending on both your insurance company and the area in which you live.
Your insurance company is going to look for basic safety mechanisms to be in place in order to even insure your home with a pool. At the very minimum, you’ll be required to have a fence around the perimeter of the pool and/or the property itself. This is not only an insurance requirement, but will likely be a municipal requirement, as well. Most insurance companies will not insure your home if you have a pool but no fence.
While premiums vary, some companies will give you discounts for having automatic safety covers or solid/mesh safety covers. Slides and diving boards increase your liability risk, so installing a pool without them may minimize the impact of the change to your policy.
The luxury of pool ownership comes with increased liability concerns, especially considering the high cost of claims associated with drownings and other pool-related injuries. Pool owners are strongly encouraged to speak to their insurance agents about increasing their liability limits and go with the maximum of $500,000. You should also seriously consider an umbrella liability policy.
At the end of the day, it’s likely your homeowners insurance premium is going to go up if you build a pool. What you can do is talk to your agent first about making sure you have the most coverage possible for the most reasonable price.