Know Your Insurance: Trampolines and Pools
Aug 05, 2011 |
Will you have a problem with your homeowner’s insurance company if you install a swimming pool? It’s unlikely, as long as your pool meets your insurer’s safety standards.
“In most cases swimming pools are not a problem for insurers,” says Jeff McCarthy with Harrington Insurance Agency in Cambridge, Mass. In fact, the real concern is with pool accessories, such as diving boards.
If you install a pool, notify your insurance agent or company, he says. If you don’t, you’re open to a possibility of misrepresentation, and the insurer could deny your claim. You might have a big problem if someone gets hurts using your pool.
“When additions are made to your property, it’s important to notify your agent,” McCarthy says. “That includes pools, trampolines, fences and other changes.”
Typically, your insurer won’t cancel your policy or raise your rate for adding a pool, McCarthy says. The carrier just wants to make sure that the pool, whether in-ground or aboveground, has an approved fence, a locking gate and is generally safe.
"More than the pool itself, carriers are more concerned about diving boards, slides and the proximity of structures,” he says.
Most pool injuries involve slips and falls, so take some commonsense precautions, McCarthy says. A slippery pool deck increases the risk of serious injury. Also, when a pool is installed too close to a house or other high structure, it’s tempting for a kid to try jumping into it.
Insurers are getting more concerned about trampolines, and some insurers will cancel your policy if you install one. If you’re planning to buy a trampoline, talk to your agent first, McCarthy suggests.
While many insurers are fine with trampolines that have proper safety netting, some aren’t, and you may have to change carriers.
McCarthy had a case where a child broke his arm playing on a customer’s trampoline. Because the homeowner hadn’t notified McCarthy, the insurance company had the right to deny covering the claim, but did pay.
“That’s a risk you don’t need to take. Always keep your agent up to date,” he says.