It probably goes without saying that a pool is a tremendous addition to any home. Pools are fun for kids and adults alike, and the perfect way to cool down on a hot summer day. They’re a tremendous addition for parties and barbecues, and can feel super luxurious.
When used correctly, pools are all kinds of fun with essentially no risk. But because they’re not always used correctly, they’re viewed as a high risk item. If someone is being irresponsible in a pool, or if a kid who shouldn’t be in a pool gains access to one, they can easily drown. That means that pools are seen as a dangerous addition to a home.
But how does that impact homeowners insurance premiums? Does building a pool in your backyard increase the price you have to pay? Read on to find out everything you need to know about having a pool with your homeowners insurance policy.
How are pools classified on your insurance policy?
Pools will be listed on most homeowners insurance policies as an attractive nuisance. An attractive nuisance is a name that insurance companies use for an item that children are attracted to without realizing the potential danger. Trampolines are another good example of an attractive nuisance.
Sometimes pools will be listed separately, but usually this is how you’ll find them classified in a policy.
Will a pool raise your homeowners insurance premiums?
Yes, having a pool will usually increase the size of your homeowners insurance premiums. The reasoning is pretty simple. Pools are a dangerous item, and they’re an expensive item. That means that no matter how your homeowners insurance company lists a pool, they’re assuming more risk, which means they need to charge you more money in order for it to be profitable for them to insure you.
With that said, a pool can be listed in one of two ways: as part of the replacement value of your home, or as an external structure.
The former is more common, so let’s start there. If your pool is listed as part of your replacement value, then it’s essentially like adding another room to your home. If your home is worth $400,000, then your insurance should, in theory, cover the replacement value of $400,000. If you build a $25,000 pool in your yard, then that puts your replacement value at $425,000, and the insurance premiums will rise to reflect that.
Things are a little different if your pool is listed as an external structure. External structures, such as sheds and greenhouses, are often covered at 10% of the replacement value of your home. If your pool, along with your other external structures, stays under that mark (or whatever percentage your insurance policy has listed), then your premiums likely will stay stable or only increase a small amount. However, if your pool exceeds the external structure coverage, then you may want to purchase additional insurance.
What about liability coverage?
The biggest thing to worry about with swimming pools is the liability coverage. If someone is injured or dies in your swimming pool, even if you didn’t give them permission to use it, you can be liable. Just because of the potential cost of a lawsuit and other legal fees, it is recommended that people who have a pool purchase at least $500,000 in liability coverage.
That’s a higher amount of liability coverage than most people have on their insurance plans, so you’ll likely have to pay a little bit more in premiums to get the proper coverage.
What about above-ground pools?
It might seem like above-ground pools would be listed as external structures, but that’s rarely the case. Since above-ground pools are technically mobile (even though that’s not very practical), they’re usually listed as personal property, and insured according to your personal property coverage.
Having a pool is a tremendous addition to your home, and one that doesn’t raise your homeowners insurance premiums by an exorbitant amount.