Question from Susan Q. from Carmel:
We’re starting to think warm thoughts, despite the never-ending winter, and that means opening up our pool in the next month or so. How do we make sure we have all of our bases covered when it comes to protecting ourselves? What are the big issues?
Response from Jamie Ianigro:
The most important thing to remember as a pool owner is to make sure that your insurance agent knows you have a pool. Failure to notify your agent can result in denied claims and the liability risk falling completely on you. This is very important to remember if you add a pool to your existing property. Not having the pool on your policy can expose you to some serious unwanted risks.
Carriers have varying requirements and pricing schemes when it comes to pools. Independent insurance agencies have access to many carriers and will be able to find the best combination of price and coverages for your needs.
We recommend at least $1 million in liability coverage for all of our clients that have a homeowner’s policy. I would also advise adding an additional $1 million of coverage by adding an umbrella liability policy to protect you and your family against catastrophic claims.
Having adequate insurance in place protects your assets if an incident occurs, but it does nothing to prevent something from happening. Liability almost always falls on the pool owner and staying on top of your responsibility to keep your pool safe and secure is just as important as having the proper insurance in place. A safety pool cover protected by lock and key is probably the best place to start. A quality cover completely seals the pool and prevents accidental access to the water by unwanted visitors, children and pets. Making sure your pool is protected by a fence is also a good idea, but no fence is unconquerable.
It’s also important to remember that claims can happen no matter what you do to prevent them. You buy insurance to protect yourself and your family. Facing a liability claim without an insurance company standing by your side can make an already unpleasant situation much worse.