- Posted By steve
- 1 year ago
ARE POOLS COVERED?
There definitely can be coverage for your swimming pool in your homeowners insurance policy.
With just a little prep work and a discussion or two with your Agent, you can be clear about what it available for you.
Where You Should Start
You should start with an understanding WHAT could go wrong, then HOW it can go wrong, and then IF it can be covered.
It’s easiest to break it down into 3 small sections.
Let me explain.
3 Types Of Coverage To Look For On Your Homeowners Insurance
1. Liability Coverage
Someone getting injured while using your pool (you getting sued and being liable for their damages)
2. Property Damage (caused by an event)
The pool/ equipment being damage by a specific event (like wind, hail, or fire).
3. Property Damage (caused by normal age/deterioration)
Damage to the pool structure, return lines (pipes), and equipment caused by normal wear and tear.
Let’s expand on each these with a few examples.
Starting with liability coverage. There’s a pretty good chance you will have coverage with most companies for someone being injured while using your pool. Very few Texas companies will have any issue with you having a pool and providing insurance coverage for a standard pool (in ground, fenced with no diving board, or slide). But you will want to be sure to max this coverage out on your policy. To increase to the maximum that most companies will offer is normally less than 50.00 a year.
If you have any unusual pool features, like diving board, slides, above ground, un-fenced, or other unusual features, you will want to be fully transparent on the front end and get a company’s approval prior to securing coverage with them. Getting a company to sign off/approve of the feature before hand will save you a MAJOR battle on the back end if you ever need their help with a lawsuit.
The final note on liability coverage, when you have a pool, it is ALWAYS recommended that you have an umbrella policy. We won’t do any deep dives on umbrella in this post. Learn more about umbrella policies here –> What is an umbrella policy?
Event Related Property Damage
That brings us to EVENT related property damage. Your pool can be damaged by natural events, like hail storms, tornado’s, or in some cases fire.
It’s important to note, that while not all event related property damage will be covered, many policies will in fact provide some level of coverage if your pool ends up damaged as a result of a covered event (like those above).
This does not apply in all cases though. There are dozens of home insurance companies operating in Texas with new policies and coverage’s emerging each year. It would be impossible to address each one because of the volume and changes. But, it is safe to say that many standard companies do provide some coverage for many common events that could cause damage to your pool.
One very common exclusion that you will want to be aware of is earth movement or subsidence/settling. So if the earth surrounding the pool was to shift naturally, there’s a very good chance you will have NO coverage for that.
To recap, the first two categories, with many/most standard companies, will often have some reasonable levels of coverage available. But, there are some boundaries and potential eligibility issues you will want to be pro-active in discussing with your Agent.
Now, onto the last category.
Maintenance Related Property Damage
This category is a little more cut and dry. Most standard home insurance policies WILL NOT provide coverage for regular maintenance related issues that can and will occur with your pool. This can include things like, equipment upkeep, equipment failure, plaster failures, cracks in decking or tiles, leaks in lines, freeze protectors, heating equipment etc…
In general, insurance policies are not designed to work for maintenance related issues. Just as you would not file a claim for a car was, transmission flush, or tire/oil changes on your vehicle, you would not file a claim for the upkeep of your pool.
That’s the bad news for this category.
But, there’s some good news in this category too. And there’s a good chance you will not have heard of this.
A Solution You Haven’t Heard Of
There are some companies out there now that offer “equipment breakdown” coverage.
This coverage is usually “bolted” on to your homeowners policy. That’s to say it’s usually added on and coverage is actually provided by a third part company that your insurance company has partnered with. It’s essentially a separate policy. And they’re usually VERY inexpensive.
Here’s an example of the coverage from one of our preferred companies.
These can be EXCELLENT for addressing equipment related issues that you will inevitably encounter if you have a home with a pool for many years.
What’s also great about these equipment breakdown policies that they don’t just stop at your pool equipment, they normally provide coverage for the major systems in your house, like HVAC, electrical, and possibly appliances.
BUT WAIT, there’s MORE!
Claims filed under equipment breakdown policies, rarely (if ever), affect your home insurance renewal.
That means they do not count as a claim on your home policy! You will still want to be responsible with filing claims on these and not over do it, but having this is an excellent benefit and can very much supplement some of the larger costs that can go a long with having a pool.
Owning a home with a pool can be a lot of fun for the family and provide hours of fun in the sun and entertainment without having to load up and travel.
Most insurance policies will provide some levels of coverage. But, just like many areas of insurance, you, as the owner, have a role to play in understanding what’s available, what needs to be discussed, and what to expect if you are considering filing a claim.
With just a little understanding and a few discussions with a good Agent, you can have the pool, a solid insurance policy, and maybe even an equipment breakdown policy in place that will help you avoid any major catastrophes.
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