Having a pool can be great. If you have young kids, a pool can make your backyard the neighborhood hotspot for the summer, giving your kids fun times and great memories even while you get to keep an eye on them more than you would if they were playing elsewhere. Even if you don’t have kids, a pool can offer you a chance to be a kid again, or it can be a great place to hold a barbeque or a romantic date.
However, having a pool can affect your homeowners insurace. This is because pools are obviously a huge liability, especially if you live in a neighborhood with lots of small children who might sneak into your backyard and play in the pool. You can actually be sued by the family of someone who drowns in your pool even if that person didn’t have your permission to be there.
For this reason, pools can be an issue you need to discuss with your insurance agent before you even buy a home that has a pool or put a pool in at the home you already own. For the most part, different insurance companies and different areas will respond differently to pools, but here are a few basic guidelines.
North or South
In cooler climates, it’s not typical for lots of people to have pools. Since pools aren’t a risk insurance companies in the Northern regions are used to claiming, they may up your homeowners insurance rates more than Southern companies who insure tons of families with pools would. This doesn’t mean, though, that every insurance company will up your rates significantly if you put a pool in your Illinoi backyard, but it does mean that you can expect to see a difference if you live in the North.
Where the pool is located in relation to your house and neighbor’s homes is often something insurance companies will take into consideration when they’re evaluating the risks of insuring your home. For instance, pools that are visible from the street might attract more wandering children and mischevious teens, making pools like these more of a liability. So, if you’re considering putting a pool in at your home, try to put it somewhere that is private and hidden from public view, which is probably something you’ll want to do, anyway.
A pool that is protected from unwanted guests will be cheaper to carry on your homeowners insurance policy. Putting a high privacy fence with a child-proof gate around your pool can be a great idea, and it may be something you want to do for the safety of your own family, anyway. Also, the type of pool cover you have can make a difference. Older pool covers that look like thick bubble wrap could trap children under them, meaning you may not even see a drowning victim until it’s too late. Some newer pool covers, though, can be walked on by an adult without caving in, so a child wouldn’t be able to get into the pool when the cover was on.
These, as we mentioned, are just basic guidelines for how your pool might affect your homeowners insurance rates. However, different companies will have different policies about pools, so be sure to ask about this when you’re doing your price-checking.