Ryan Insurance & Financial Services

Thinking of adding a pool to your home? Here's what you need to know

by Sean Ryan on Jun 16, 2016

A backyard swimming pool can provide loads of family fun and relaxation. But with great fun comes great responsibility. There is no other feature in your home that has a greater potential for personal and financial disaster.

Do your math before installing a swimming pool. The installation can cost upwards of $20,000, and the increase in insurance, property taxes, electricity and water can cost well over $1,000 a year.

Although Florida law does not require homeowners insurance, some cities and counties require liability coverage if you have a swimming pool. If your home is mortgaged, your bank will require full coverage of the house and pool.

Before you jump in your new pool, make sure your insurance agent knows about it. If the company isn’t aware of the pool, it isn’t covered.

Most homeowners policies can be adapted to cover property damage to the pool. Generally, the pool is covered for 10 percent of the amount of insurance you have on your home. Therefore, if you have a $200,000 policy on your home, your pool will be covered for $20,000. If you need more insurance, talk to your agent.

When it comes to swimming pools, liability coverage is essential. Most homeowners policies include a minimum of $100,000 in liability protection. Pool owners, however, should increase that amount to at least $500,000. For an additional premium of about $200 to $300 a year, you can get $1 million of liability protection.

There are a number of ways you can reduce your risk – and your insurance rates:

  • Surround the pool with a fence that is at least 4 feet high.
  • Make sure the gates have locks and self-closing, self-latching devices that are at least 54 inches from the floor.
  • Install a pool alarm.
  • Remove diving boards and slides.
  • Install an approved safety pool cover that can be used when the pool is not in use.

If you have a pool, or you’re thinking about adding one, call us at 386-738-2000 so we can review your needs and recommend coverage that will protect you against claims arising from injury or death.

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