After a brutal winter and Covid-19 restrictions, many have felt cooped up in their homes ready for adventure. The good news is daylight savings time has arrived, flowers are blooming, and warmer weather is slowly creeping in. Spring is in full force and summer is now on the horizon. The increased outdoor activities and safer-at-home recommendations has many ready to open their backyard pools, buy a home with a pool in place, or install one.
Nashville provides an almost ideal climate for homes with backyard pools and can be enjoyed for at least four to five months out of the year. The relaxation and fun activities associated with splashing around the backyard are widely appealing for families.
If you are a future backyard pool owner, you have probably considered many factors on whether it is worth it or not. Initial costs, real estate value, exercise activities, and creating memorable family moments are all balanced into the equation. Current pool owners are pulling away the cover and waiting for the water to be warm enough to take the plunge, but still face the burden of additional home expenses.
Average Cost of Pool Upkeep Annually
According to Home Advisor, pool owners can expect to spend between $1,200 and $1,800 per year in basic maintenance. Combined with repairs and utilities, homeowners can spend as much as $3,000 to $5,000 per year to keep it in good working condition. Weekly pool services, such as checking the water level, testing water chemistry, applying chemicals, and removing debris all account for a well-run pool. For many, the reward is worth the work and cost.
While the initial and monthly maintenance cost should be a high priority, risk exposure and insurance should be your top concern.
Swimming Pool Insurance Risks
Many dangers are associated with swimming pools that both the homeowner and guests should be aware of to minimize and mitigate the risks. Homeowners can be held responsible for any injuries or deaths that take place around or in the pool, even if the victims used it without permission. Due to the high risk associated with pools, homeowners should provide reasonable accommodations with non-slip surfaces, install proper fences, and have life-saving equipment readily available.
Proper insurance coverage is equally as important as these prevention methods. Since backyard pools opens the door to added liability, so you want to review your policies and add adequate insurance, as necessary.
If you are considering installing a swimming pool or already have one in place, we answered three of the top questions about pools and homeowners’ insurance.
Top 3 Questions Homeowners Have about Swimming Pool Insurance
1. How does a backyard pool affect my homeowner’s insurance policy?
A standard homeowners insurance policy insures your home’s structure and your personal property in a destructive event. The coverage includes damage to your property but also liability for any injuries and property damage to others caused by you.
Homeowners’ insurance can help pay for expenses if a guest is injured at your pool or damage from a covered peril; however, there are limitations. Homeowners’ insurance includes liability protection, which will help pay for expenses if a guest faces an injury at your pool but only up to the policy limits.
If your pool is damaged, only previously outlined events are covered. These covered events commonly include fire, hail, storms, or vandalism. The policy typically does not cover pool damage caused by negligence or lack of maintenance.
2. Does the type of swimming pool affect my insurance policy?
Most in-ground pools or permanently installed above-ground pools are generally covered in the other structures section of the homeowners’ policy while above-ground pools may be considered personal property.
The other structures on your property are generally covered for the same perils as your home. Coverage amounts are usually based on a percentage of your dwelling coverage. Pools are typically covered under the actual cash value and take into consideration depreciation and age. Therefore, replacements or repairs for covered events are limited to the current cash value, not how much it cost you to build the pool.
3. Is additional insurance coverage needed?
If a serious injury or death occurs on your property because of pool ownership, standard homeowners’ insurance limits may not be enough to cover the liability.
While pools are generally covered under your homeowners insurance policy, you may want to consider adding extra layers of protection with a personal umbrella policy. This policy provides additional limits higher than your homeowners insurance policy and kicks in once the amounts of the homeowners’ policy have been exhausted.
Life is busy. Balancing work, school, family, and friends can be challenging. Ditching electronics, healthier living, and family time are a few of the major benefits to owning a pool. Pools are appealing, but homeowners must go beyond cost to decide if it is the right decision whether to build or purchase a home with one.
Whether you are a current or future swimming pool owner, talk to your local insurance agent to make sure you have enough coverage for a safe and fun-filled summer by the pool.
For questions about homeowners insurance, need a thorough risk assessment, or receive a quote, contact us today at (855) 207.9492.
Montgomery & Associates Insurance & Financial Services is a trusted source in homeowners’ insurance in Tennessee and across the nation.