Is My Pool Covered By My Homeowners Policy?
Tue Dec 5 2017
This is one of the most common - and complicated - questions insurance agents hear, and unfortunately, it depends on your policy. If you have an HO1, HO2, or HO8, chances are good your pool isn’t covered. However, if you have an HO3 or HO5 homeowners policy, you may have coverage for your pool.
How Homeowners Insurance Applies to Pools
While pools are generally intended for fun and recreation, they can also be a tremendous liability if someone gets hurt. Aside from increasing your personal liability exposure, pools are also expensive to maintain and repair. While there’s no universal answer to whether pools are covered by insurance, it’s nearly always true that they’re expensive.
Insurance companies are well aware of this. They take both the personal liability and structural liability into account when deciding whether to insure a home with a pool. Some insurance companies classify a pool as “an unattached structure” which is covered by Coverage B in a home insurance policy; others consider it “personal property,” which is covered by Coverage C. Where you live may impact if your pool is covered and how it’s covered.
Coverage options vary because each state has different weather patterns. Hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards, and earthquakes can affect pools differently, which is why it’s irresponsible to make blanket statements about coverage for home pools.
In Florida, it’s pretty common for an insurer to only insure the pool for personal liability when the owner is not found negligent. This type of coverage does not protect the pool itself and will not pay to repair physical damage to either above-ground or in-ground pools. Moreover, Florida homeowners insurance companies typically won’t cover applicants with slides or diving boards (this is also true for Kin).
Again, each state and insurance company have different protocols.
Is Your Pool Cage Covered?
It depends. If damage is caused from something other than a hurricane, and the pool cage is attached to your home, then yes, it may be covered under your Coverage A. However, if there is a hurricane, insurance companies (including Kin) exclude coverage for cages because they are not designed to withstand a hurricane.
We know pool cages are expensive, so one option is to purchase an endorsement for a hurricane screen enclosure. This generally costs $100 per $10,000 of coverage and still requires the homeowner to pay a deductible. To keep expenses low in the event of a hurricane, consider a 1% hurricane deductible, if possible. This way there is less out-of-pocket expense in the event of serious hurricane damage.
Lastly, if you do have a pool, regardless of where you live, it’s worth considering extra personal liability coverage. Before you think you can’t afford it, here’s a little perspective: for every $100,000 of personal liability, premiums rise about $10 annually. That’s less than a $1 a month to receive $100,000 extra coverage if someone is injured in and around your pool.
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