Is your entire family thrilled by the in-ground pool on your new property? Or, have you just installed an above-ground pool and spa to complete your dream backyard? Before you dive into summer, start by notifying your insurer of the presence of these items in your home.
Your broker will be able to offer you the best coverage to add to your home insurance, based on certain inclusions and exclusions. This additional coverage, called an “endorsement”, usually covers the pool itself as well as the equipment surrounding it, such as the filter, the water heater and the liner.
Get to Know your Pool
Just as you would when insuring your car, gather as much information as possible about your new purchase before calling your broker. Whether it’s an above-ground pool, in-ground pool or outdoor spa, find out the make, model, dimensions, contract, date of purchase and installation. These will be necessary for a fair protection.
Rest Assured: Some Risks are Covered
When it comes to pools and spas, the potential risks are water damage from overflow, connection problems and of course, drowning. Fortunately, damage caused by these is covered by your home insurance policy and its pool endorsement.
What if your pool splits and floods your neighbor’s yard causing water damage to his house? The situation is the same. In addition to the property itself, which requires the endorsement to be covered, the civil liability is covered by the homeowner’s liability policy, even if the endorsement is not present, as long as the presence of your pool or spa is mentioned to your insurer.
To Each their Own Coverage in the Event of a Breakdown
In-ground pools are sometimes considered an integral part of a building by some insurers, so their damage is covered outright. However, if your current home insurance does not cover your in-ground pool, an endorsement will be required, under certain conditions, to protect you against damage caused by freezing and thawing, for example.
Above ground pools are never considered part of your home. The addition of an endorsement is mandatory in order to receive compensation if your pool collapses or cracks.
And for the spa, it’s best to check with your broker to see if it’s covered for damage and if the endorsement is necessary, because again, certain conditions apply.
No matter which water feature you choose to brighten up your summer days, be aware that in the event of a claim, compensation decreases according to its age.
Be Careful Before Jumping In
Of course, the safety of your pool or spa is of UTMOST importance at all times. Compliance with municipal and provincial bylaws is important, but vigilance and parental supervision are even more important if you want to enjoy your new acquisition. Pay special attention to changes in regulations that would affect pool owners with picket fences.
Contact your insurance broker now to see if your home insurance still fits your situation. Have a good swim!