Do In-Ground Swimming Pools Fall under Dwelling Coverage?

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    You've put in a swimming pool. You're the ultimate summer house and the reigning neighborhood hero, but pools don't come without their challenges (and we're not just talking about the thousands of leaves you'll have to fish out of there).
    Pools require adequate insurance coverage. Not only are they outdoors and therefore exposed to the elements, they also pose safety and liability risks. For instance, they are considered "attractive nuisances", which means they are a feature that attracts the attention of children while posing a serious risk to their safety. That being said, even if a child trespasses on your property and is injured in your pool while you are not at home, you could still be held accountable.
    The best thing to have on your side when it comes to your in-ground pool is the proper coverage. But, what section of your homeowners insurance does your pool fall under? And what kinds of insurance will you need? Here's what you need to know.

    Are pools included in dwelling coverage?

    No, pools are not covered in dwelling coverage. Your dwelling is considered your primary residence or anything directly attached to your residence, like porches, patios, and decks.
    Structures on your property separated from your main dwelling by a clear space are considered "other structures."
    Pools will not automatically be covered by your homeowners policy. If you have a pool, you have to add it to your home insurance policy. Once covered, it will fall under other structures coverage or Coverage B.

    When will my homeowners insurance cover pool damage?

    If you've added your pool to your homeowners insurance policy, it will be protected if it is damaged by a covered peril. However, covered perils are usually limited to unexpected and unavoidable occurrences; namely, fires, inclement weather, and criminal activity. Therefore, if your pool was struck by lightning and suffered damage, it will likely be covered. Keep in mind, the coverage and deductibles for your pool are probably different from the coverage and deductibles for your main dwelling.

    When will my homeowners insurance not cover pool damage?

    If your pool is damaged by a peril that isn't listed on your policy, it will not be covered. It's important to double-check your policy because perils you may think are covered might not be. For instance, floods and earthquakes are commonly left out of standard policies; however, they could pose a real threat to your in-ground pool if you live in an area where these occurrences are known risk factors.
    Your home insurance also won't cover damage that happened due to gradual wear or neglect. That means all that work fishing leaves out of your pool isn't going to waste!

    What kind of coverage does an in-ground pool need?

    When it comes to having your pool adequately insured, you will need to do more than add it to your homeowners insurance policy.
    If you have a pool, you need additional liability protection. Here are some forms of insurance you should look into:
    Liability insurance: Liability insurance will protect you and your assets in the instance someone suffers an injury associated with your pool. Liability insurance typically covers medical expenses, legal fees, and other hardships associated with an injury. It's important to make sure you are covered for every element of your pool. For instance, diving boards are not covered under most standard liability policies.
    Umbrella policy: Pool owners can add up to one million dollars of liability insurance coverage beyond their home coverage by purchasing an umbrella policy for their pools. Umbrella policies cost between $200-$300 a year and can protect you if you are held responsible for monetary amounts that exceed your normal coverage. The exact amounts included depend on the deductibles and limits of your policy.

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