Blog Pools And Insurance: What You Need To Know If You Have A Swimming Pool

Mar 18, 2024

Does insurance cover swimming pools?

woman sitting on swimming pool edge with legs in the water

There is nothing like a dip in the pool on a hot summer day. It is a great place to spend time with family and friends. Are you thinking about installing a pool? Or considering buying a home with one? It's important to know how a swimming pool affects home insurance.

Although swimming pools provide many benefits, they require careful consideration before investing in them. Installing a pool can be a significant expense, with an average cost ranging from $25,000 to $100,000 or even more, depending on the size and type. Additionally, there are annual maintenance fees to consider. According to Statistics Canada, a record 11,168 permits were issued nationwide for the residential construction of inground swimming pools in the second quarter of 2021.

They also come with increased risk. There is the potential for slips and falls on wet surfaces and drowning, so pool insurance is crucial.

Ready to take the plunge and invest in a pool? Here is how you can protect it, your family, and have a safe summer.

Three main takeaways about pools and insurance

  • Having a pool can increase your monthly insurance payments because it’s an increased liability and increases your property value.
  • Pool insurance requirements vary by municipality – always check with your local government and your insurer to make sure you have adequate coverage.
  • Consider adding additional liability coverage for your pool to ensure you have enough protection in the event of a claim.

What’s on this page

How much does a pool raise insurance?
Insurance considerations with a pool
Swimming pool insurance requirements
Do you have to tell insurance about a pool?
Does insurance cover pool damage?
What types of pools are covered?
Do I need to put a fence around a pool for insurance?
8 must know pool safety tips
Swimming pools and insurance FAQs

How much does a pool raise insurance?

The insurance costs for your pool can vary depending on its size, type, and value. Additionally, limits can also affect how much you pay. As a general rule of thumb, you can pay around $25-$75 more per month to insure a pool. But, get a quote to know how much a pool will affect your policy.

There are two main ways a pool affects it:

  • They increase risk
  • They raise your property value

These factors will have an impact on your costs and plan limits. Installing a pool increases the value of your property. You must increase your limits to ensure they align with your home replacement value.

It is important to remember that whether you are installing or purchasing a home with a pool will impact your costs. This applies to all types of pools, including above-ground, in-ground, and in-ground pools. It is your responsibility to ensure the safety of those who use it.

Insurance considerations with a pool

All properties are unique. Having the proper protection for your property is essential to minimize risk factors. When you have a pool, ensuring you have enough coverage is critical. You must protect yourself from liability claims and ensure it is covered if damaged. Here are some options to consider:

  • Increase liability: Liability is a standard part of your policy. Since it adds a layer of risk, you should increase your limits and understand. You could be liable if someone is hurt using it.
  • Get umbrella coverage: This provides an extra layer of protection once you exceed your liability amount.
  • Personal property insurance: Homeowners insurance protects your property in case of theft, natural calamities, and damage to additional structures like a pool.
  • Pool related property: A pool usually comes with other things you need to protect - pool shed, additional fencing, slides, outdoor furniture, pool equipment, and more. Make sure these items are included in your policy.

Speak with your insurer to assess your needs.

Swimming pool insurance requirements

Municipalities set specific requirements – check your local area for specific requirements. Ontario home insurance requires all homeowners to follow these rules as a condition of their agreement. You will need a fence enclosing the pool, the proper permits from your municipality, and the ability to meet other land grading and zoning criteria. Here are some areas to get started with:

  • Whether you have an above-ground or in-ground pool, you must install a fence in Ontario.
  • A minimum fence or barrier of 41 inches (61cm) is mandatory for in-ground pool security.
  • If you are building a fence on a shared property line, get written approval from your neighbour.
  • Having a slide or diving board is an additional risk associated with having a pool. Always ensure you have the proper coverage in place.

It is important to remember that gate requirements, height specifications, and pool material regulations may differ depending on location. Not following these regulations can lead to fines, legal liability, and harm. Therefore, checking with your local government and insurer is always recommended to ensure you take the necessary steps to keep everyone safe.

Do you have to tell insurance about a pool?

It is crucial to inform your insurance broker if you have a pool on your property so they can provide you with the proper swimming pool liability insurance coverage limits to adequately address the increased risk exposure. If someone gets injured and sues you, your claim will get denied if you fail to inform your insurer about your pool. You may face challenges getting coverage in the future.

Does insurance cover pool damage?

Whether insurance covers pool damage depends on the specific circumstances, the type of insurance policy you have, and the cause of the damage. Here are some common scenarios:

  • Your home policy: If your pool sustains damage due to a covered peril under your homeowner's insurance policy, such as fire, vandalism, or a fallen tree, your policy may cover the expenses for repairing or replacing the pool (up to your policy limits).
  • Weather related events: Whether or not the damage caused by flooding is covered depends on whether you have separate flood insurance or earthquake insurance. Most homeowner's insurance policies do not cover flood damage. It is important to have flood insurance if you live in a flood-prone area to safeguard your property, including your pool.
  • Pool endorsement: Certain insurance companies provide endorsements or riders designed specifically for swimming pools. These can offer additional coverage beyond what is included in a typical homeowner's policy. The additional coverage often protects against equipment breakdowns, damage to the pool structure, and liability related to the pool.
  • Maintenance: Insurance typically won't cover damage from lack of maintenance or normal wear and tear. You'll likely be responsible for the repairs if your pool is damaged due to neglect or aging.

Dive into a lower rate for your home

If you want to buy a new property with a pool or install one, you need proper pool insurance. Start comparing your options with our brokers to find customized coverage for your property.

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When insurance would cover a pool claim:

If a severe storm with strong winds causes a tree to fall onto your pool and damages its structure and equipment, your homeowner's insurance policy will likely cover the damage. Most homeowner's insurance policies usually consider falling trees a covered peril. Your policy should cover repairing or replacing the damaged pool structure and equipment, subject to policy limits and deductibles.

When insurance would not cover a pool claim:

Over time, the lining of your pool can deteriorate due to lack of maintenance, which can cause cracks, leaks, and other structural damage. Unfortunately, in this scenario, your homeowner's insurance policy is unlikely to cover the damage to your pool. Damage caused by lack of maintenance or normal wear and tear is typically excluded from coverage. Since the damage is a result of neglect rather than a sudden and unexpected event, you will likely be responsible for repairing or replacing the pool out of pocket.

It is crucial to carefully review your policy to comprehend what is covered and what is not concerning your swimming pool. If you have any particular concerns about your coverage, seek guidance from your broker to clarify the matter.

What types of pools are covered?

You may be surprised to hear that depending on the type of pool you have can impact the type of pool insurance you need.

  • Above ground: These are typically seen as personal property rather than a permanent structure. This is because they can be drained, disassembled, and relocated if the owner decides to move. As a result, if the pool is damaged, it may be covered by a different level of financial protection than a permanent structure.
  • In-ground: Generally, an in-ground pool is considered an "other structure" and requires additional coverage to protect it from damage. The cost of this coverage depends largely on the cost of replacing your pool.

Do I need to put a fence around a pool for insurance?

It's important to note that different municipalities may have specific requirements that an insurance company needs to satisfy before approving your coverage. For instance, your insurance application may be rejected if you don't have a fence that can secure your pool from unsupervised public use.

8 must know pool safety tips

You need to take steps to reduce risk if you have a pool on your property. Here are some ways to do this:

  • Lock up: Make sure you have a lock for all gates and fences surrounding the pool. Keep them locked when not in use.
  • Add signage: Add a “no trespassing” sign on your fence. This shows you’ve taken steps to warn trespassers. You can also include a “no diving” or pool rules sign nearby.
  • Supervision: Adult supervision is a must when children are swimming. Never allow anyone to swim alone.
  • First aid training: Make sure all family members are up to date with first aid training.
  • Swimming lessons: Sign your kids up for swimming lessons. Ensure everyone in the family is comfortable in the water and has strong swimming skills.
  • Establish rules: Set clear rules for anyone swimming, such as no running or horseplay.
  • Have safety devices on hand: Life jackets and lifesaving devices on the deck.
  • Regular maintenance: Keep up with recommended maintenance and ensure it works efficiently.

Swimming pools and insurance FAQs

Yes. Insurers recommend you to increase your Ontario home insurance limits to cover the additional risk and increased value of your property.

When insuring your pool for an Airbnb, you need to make sure the entire property and building are covered with homesharing insurance. Let your provider know about the pool and additional safety precautions you have.

It depends on your insurer and the type of policy. It can also depend on your pool type, your water damage insurance, and other factors. Check your documents to confirm if structural collapse is included. Consider the cost of rebuilding the pool and repair any damages from the incident.

Pool leaks are generally not covered, depending on the circumstance. Generally, they are normal wear and tear and will not be covered under most home insurance plans. But, if a leak is caused by damage from a tree or storm, you could be covered depending on your protection plan.

Yes - even if you are renting a home, you should declare there is a pool. There are additional tenant insurance options for long and short term protection.