Are you thinking about getting a new pool? Have you considered the effect this might have on your homeowner’s insurance? Many people can get caught up in the excitement of getting a new pool (and understandably so!) and forget about some of the other aspects of pool ownership such as upkeep costs and homeowner’s insurance. These shouldn’t dissuade you from getting a pool, but it’s important to know about everything that comes with pool ownership. And one of those things is the effect that pool ownership has on your homeowner’s insurance policy.
Pool Ownership and Homeowner’s Insurance
Your homeowner’s insurance covers damage to your home and structures on your property, and provides liability protection if someone sues you after suffering an injury on your property.
Your pool is considered a structure, along with things like a detached garage or a gazebo. As far as structures go, most policies cover 10% of the amount written for your home. In this case, if you had $100,000 of coverage on your home, you would have $10,000 on the structures.
If the only separate structure you have is your pool, this may be enough. However, if you have a number of structures, it may not be. You may want to consider obtaining a higher coverage amount under your policy if you’re considering installing a pool. This would ensure that it has the protection it needs. You can get coverage for structures on an individual basis if you want. For example, if you have $10,000 worth of coverage, you could add another $5,000 specifically for your pool.
Damage coverage will depend on your policy. Most policies protect against anything not specifically excluded under the contract. However, there are coverages that only cover against things that are specifically listed in the contract.
It’s important to note that damage caused as a result of freezing water is not covered. This makes it especially important to have your pool winterized so it can stand up to the cold winter.
The other thing your policy provides coverage for is liability. If someone suffers an injury while using your pool, they may sue you. Even if you didn’t give them permission to use the pool, you will still be held liable because the pool is on your property.
Again, this depends on your policy. Most basic policies will pay up to $100,000 for each instance of a civil claim against you. You would have to make up the difference if the claim were greater than that. Some policies offer $200,000 or $300,000 in coverage. You may want to consider increasing your liability coverage if you’re installing a new pool.
To do this, you can either purchase higher liability coverage (which is very affordable), or purchase a separate policy called an umbrella liability policy. These policies offer a predetermined limit (usually up to $1 million) in coverage for liability claims against you and your family.
Contact Rhine Pools today at 410-442-2445 to learn more about pool building and ownership in Maryland.