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Do you really need to insure your pool?

Pools are a hot commodity. Especially during holidays in the summer. They're also one of the biggest liability concerns for insurance companies. So do you need to insure your pool?

The liability concerns stem from the numerous drownings reported each year. And in some cases those drownings have lead to people suing the owners of the pool. This is where the insurance companies get concerned. Some carriers won't even insure a pool with a diving board or slide. And others still have stipulations like fencing around the yard or pool area.

The most common way to insure your pool is through homeowners insurance. Homeowners will provide coverage for damages to your house and other structures, along with liability protection in the event someone sues you. Pools fall under the category of "other structures," the same as sheds, detached garages and gazebos.

The standard amount of insurance for such items is 10% of the amount written for your home. For example, if your homeowners insurance policy is $100,000 then your "other structures" are insured for $10,000. If you have several structures or spent a lot of money on building your pool 10% may not be enough. In that case it would be a good idea to contact your insurance carrier and add more coverage on. There are some carriers that will insure 20% of the amount written, instead of the standard 10%, from the start but if not, it isn't very hard to add on more.

Insurance will cover your pool from all perils except those specifically excluded. There are some common events that are not covered with most insurance policies. This includes freezing, thawing, pressure, and/or weight of ice or water. The best way to protect your pool from these events is to make sure you winterize.

But what if you rent a house with a pool? How can you be insured? In this case you should obtain renters insurance. This will provide coverage for any injury or property damage. In most cases the landlord will be liable for any damages, maintenance, and injuries incurred due to negligence of the property. However, if you happen to push your friend into the pool and they suffer an injury, your renters liability insurance will cover it.

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