Whether you are considering an above-ground or in-ground swimming pool, it’s best to contact your New York home insurer first. The reason is that the pool will most likely increase your homeowners insurance premiums. Pools represent an increased risk for home insurance firms and in return for taking on that bigger risk, they have to raise the monthly premiums.
If your pool doesn’t meet certain requirements, the company may refuse to cover it at all. That brings us to:
Swimming pool coverage requirements
Here are a few of the safety requirements most insurance firms will insist on before they cover your pool:
- There should not be slides or diving boards
- There has to be a fence of at least 4-ft around the pool
- This fence should have a gate that can be locked
- If the pool should ever be empty, your coverage will most likely expire
The good news is that most of these requirements are already part of the building code on Long Island, NY so that won't pose a problem for your homeowners policy.
Why your insurance premiums will normally go up with a swimming pool
Home insurance premiums will typically be higher if you have a pool because you are increasing the risk your insurer has to take on for.
a) Damage to the pool and
b) Accidents that might potentially happen
Exactly how much the premiums will increase depends on the insurance firm and the type of pool. The impact on your Long Island homeowners premium is normally very small. Typically up to $100 or so per year.
Pool damage risk
When it comes to home insurance, in-ground swimming pools often create a conundrum. Some homeowner insurance companies add them to the property’s replacement value. Since the total cost of a pool can easily exceed $20 000, raising the property’s replacement cost by this amount could cause a substantial increase in home insurance premiums.
Other home insurance firms might consider the swimming pool as an external structure, something that is not part of the home. In that case, the pool has to be declared and listed separately in the policy document, the same as with all other external structures.
Since many homeowners policies cover external structures to a maximum of 10% of the home’s replacement cost, you will have to buy additional coverage if the pool’s value is more than that.
According to the National Safety Council, drowning is the second biggest cause of injury-related death among kids under the age of 15. And well over 80% of these drownings take place in residential swimming pools or spas. There are also thousands of near-drowning events every year.
If you take proper precautions there is no reason something like this should ever happen at your beautiful new swimming pool. But to be on the safe side, you need to increase your home insurance policy’s liability limits. The majority of insurance professionals recommend an amount of at least $500,000 on your homeowners policy but you should absolutely be looking into a personal umbrella policy.
A final note
Your home insurance is not meant as a replacement for standard maintenance jobs. During the summer months, you should regularly remove debris from the water, make sure there are no toys stuck in the plumbing, and check chlorine levels. And get a professional to check for cracks during the off-season.