Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Pools?
When we think of damage to our homes, we think of the actual structure—roof, walls, floors and everything inside. But what about your pool? Yes, the pool is “outside,” but it’s also a part of your property. The same dangers that can damage your home, often can damage your pool. Is your pool covered under your homeowners insurance policy?
What’s the Cause?
The first question to ask is the one you’d ask in any insurance claim—is the cause of the damage a covered cause? Certainly, for the standard causes, there would be coverage. Wind, lightning, or some other catastrophe out of your control, would be covered.
If you own a pool, you already know that it needs maintenance. Homeowners insurance generally won’t cover any damage that is caused by a failure to maintain the pool. That means if small, gradual cracks develop, or there is some problem with the floor of the pool, you may not have any coverage at all.
The same applies for any cracks in your pool that are caused by ground shifting, as earthquakes and similar causes are not covered.
What Part of the Policy?
Generally policies will insure damage to your pool, under either an extraneous structure coverage, or under the homeowners insurance coverage itself. That’s good, because it means you’re covered either way, but you should make sure you know the differences in coverage between differing parts of your policy.
For example, your extraneous coverage policy may have an actual cash value limit, whereas your home may have a replacement cost value limit (two different ways of valuing covered losses). You should know which part of the policy covers your pool, and whether that part of the policy is different from your homeowner’s policy in general.
Also remember that if the pool is considered an extraneous structure, there may be a cap on what the insurance will cover. Many policies will say that they will only pay a certain percentage of the home’s value, towards extraneous structures. So, if your home is worth $200,000, and the policy for extraneous structures only covers 10%, your maximum coverage would be $20,000.
Pools are sources of liability. Other people can get injured in or around your pool.
In most cases, your homeowners policy will provide liability coverage, but there may be an extra charge or premium, as the pool is an additional potential risk. You should talk with your agent to make sure that you have a sufficient amount of liability coverage to make sure you are protected if someone is injured on your property in or around your pool.
Be aware that above ground pools may be considered personal property. As such they may not be covered by your policy. You should ask an agent whether an above ground pool is covered by your policy.
Contact the Miami property damage insurance attorneys at Velasquez & Associates P.A. today for help understanding your homeowners insurance policy.