Swimming pool insurance requirements: The basics

Mon Apr 17 2023

A stunning Mediterranean-style home with a pool and hot tub at dusk

A pool can add value to your home, but it can also add some insurance complications. That’s why this guide exists: to clear up some common questions we get about swimming pools.

Find out what kind of pools we can cover, how they are covered under your home insurance policy, and exclusions you should know about.

Does homeowners insurance cover swimming pools?

Home insurance usually covers swimming pools, but most insurance companies consider pools to be attractive nuisances, so you might need to meet some safety requirements before you can get covered. For example, at Kin, we prefer pools that:

  • Don’t have diving boards or slides.
  • Have at minimum a four-foot fence with a locking gate (this can be your backyard fence).
  • Are filled with water (they can’t be empty).

If your pool meets these requirements, it can be covered. If a windstorm blew a branch into your pool that ripped the lining, your insurance could potentially pay for that repair.

Your homeowners insurance also usually offers personal liability coverage for visitor injuries that happen in or around your pool. However, pools do increase the risk of an injury happening on your property, so check your coverage limits. If you need more protection, consider an umbrella policy. This can supplement your liability coverage limits without drastically increasing your home insurance premium.

Does homeowners insurance cover above-ground or in-ground pools?

Home insurance can typically cover both above-ground and in-ground pools. The difference between these two types of pools from an insurance standpoint is which part of the policy protects the pool.

Our homeowners policies cover all swimming pools under your dwelling coverage (Coverage A). However,  insurers can do this differently.

For example, an insurer may choose to cover above-ground pools through other structures coverage (Coverage B) and in-ground pools with dwelling coverage. Another insurer might cover both in-ground and above ground pools under Coverage B, while a third may use personal property insurance (Coverage C) for above-ground pools because they can be disassembled and transported, like a trampoline.

When in doubt about what part of your policy applies to your swimming pool, ask your insurance provider.

Does homeowners insurance cover pool leaks?

Say your pool springs a leak. If the leak wasn’t caused by a covered peril (like a fire or windstorm), your policy typically won’t cover the damage. That’s because home insurance doesn’t pay for damage that results from wear and tear or lack of proper maintenance. In those cases, you’d have to pay for the repair and the leak cleanup out of pocket.

Does homeowners insurance cover the pool liners?

It depends on the situation. If your pool liner is damaged because of a covered incident (again, like a fire or windstorm), your policy may pay to repair or replace the liner. However, if your pool liner rips under other circumstances, such as neglect or wear and tear, the repair isn’t covered.

Is your hurricane screened enclosure covered?

It depends on where you live. For example, you may be able to protect your pool’s hurricane enclosure with an endorsement to your homeowners insurance in Florida. The enclosure usually isn’t covered by the portion of your policy that protects your pool.

Kin offers this endorsement for Florida homeowners, but be aware that it pays to repair or replace the frame of the enclosure – not the screening material.

How does a pool impact your insurance premiums?

Because a pool is both an additional investment and an additional risk, it does raise the cost of your homeowners insurance premium.

If your insurer classifies your pool as an external structure, the default is to cover it (and the rest of your other structures) for up to 10 percent of your dwelling insurance. So if, for example, your dwelling coverage limits are $250,000, you would have up to $25,000 in protection for your pool.

Tips for keeping your swimming pool safe

Insurance is only the first step towards protecting your home when you have a pool. The next is managing the added risk. Here are few ideas for helping keep your swimming pool safe:

  • Erect a locking fence around your pool to keep children and pets out of the water. Make sure the fence is locked and the pool secure when you aren’t around.
  • Mount lights by your pool to keep the area well lit at night so no one falls in.
  • Install one or more security cameras that let you monitor activity in and around the pool.
  • Avoid installing diving boards, slides, and other accessories that people may injure themselves on.
  • Keep the pool deck dry and free of debris to minimize the chance of accidents.
  • Keep the pool and surrounding area free of any glass that might break and get in the pool and cut someone.
  • Make sure that anytime the pool is being used there’s an adult present who is trained to perform CPR in the event of an emergency.

Need more guidance? Give us a call! We’re happy to help you protect your pool.

Editor’s note: This post was originally published in September 2018. It has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.

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