How A Pool Affects Your Homeowners Insurance

How A Pool Affects Your Homeowners Insurance

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If you have a pool, then you'll need homeowners insurance before putting the final touches on your backyard oasis. Your insurance policy will need to cover liability — since your pool is considered an "attractive nuisance" — and the pool itself. Here's what to know.

Does homeowners insurance cover an in-ground pool?

Yes, homeowners insurance covers damage to in-ground swimming pools for a premium increase of roughly $50 a year. But there's one question your insurer will need to answer: Is the pool considered part of the home itself, or is it an external structure? The answer will impact what happens to your replacement cost value or personal property limit.

  • Replacement cost value: Your insurance policy may have replacement cost coverage, which pays to replace your home with the same or similar home in today's market. If your home insurance company includes in-ground pools in the replacement cost value of your policy, then the value of your home would increase. That will consequently increase the cost of your home insurance premium because of the new maximum claim limit. This usually applies to in-ground pools.
  • Personal property limit: Personal property coverage pays to repair or replace your belongings, not the actual home. If your home insurance company considers your pool an external structure — typically the case for above-ground pools — then you'll need to list the pool as an external structure. You'll need to check whether your current limit is enough to cover damage to your pool. If not, then you may need to raise your personal property limit — which increases the cost as well.

The good news is that in-ground pool damage insurance claims are uncommon because there are few perils that might seriously damage them. They are not susceptible to the wind, water and fire damage that homes are.

Are above-ground pools covered by homeowners insurance?

Homeowners insurance policies typically consider above-ground pools personal property. Any accessories you use for the pool, such as the pool liner, may also fall under this type of coverage. Take a look at one example to see how coverage is calculated.

Let's say your insurer considers your pool as personal property. Your home is worth $200,000 and the policy covers personal property up to 25% of the replacement cost value of the home. In a covered incident, your insurer would pay up to $50,000 to repair or replace the pool. Check your coverage limit and ask your insurance company if there's a claim limit for swimming pools, too. Then decide whether you need more coverage.

How does the pool impact liability coverage?

The liability portion of your homeowners insurance pays for medical bills or lawsuits that result from incidents in or around the pool, such as an injury or death. The policyholder and household are excluded from this coverage.

Insurance companies consider swimming pools an "attractive nuisance," or property that might attract and endanger a child. And when you own a pool — or any type of attractive nuisance — you're liable for any incidents attached to it, regardless of whether the person had permission to use it.

Homeowners insurance policies typically include at least $100,000 of liability protection, but some experts recommend buying $500,000 worth of coverage. You can increase the limit of your personal liability insurance or purchase a separate umbrella policy, which would cover the cost of any liability claim up to the limit of the umbrella policy.

Best insurance companies for homes with pools

Among national insurance companies, Allstate provides the most affordable homeowners insurance quotes for homes equipped with a pool. To determine which company has the cheapest insurance rate for a home with a pool, we gathered quotes for a sample $200,000 home in multiple large U.S. cities from some of the nation's largest insurance companies. The quotes were then averaged to arrive at a mean insurance cost for a home with a pool across multiple insurers. Allstate offered our sample home an annual homeowners insurance quote of $2,289.

Best Homeowners Insurance Companies for Homes with Pools

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Swimming pools and unacceptable insurance risks

The best insurance companies cover swimming pools and the liability associated with them, but the coverage comes with stipulations.

For instance, almost all cities and towns require pool owners to install a fence or enclosure around the pool, the property or both. If you don't have a suitable fence, then your carrier may exclude liability coverage for pool-related incidents. Your insurance company may also exclude pools with slides and diving boards because these generally pose a higher risk for injuries and medical expenses.

Policyholders also must keep up with the maintenance and drain the pool in the winter to prevent damage. Any damage as a result of neglect on the part of the policyholder will not be covered.

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