This exceptionally hot summer has had a lot of us toying with the idea of investing in permanent refreshment and summer enjoyment – a pool! What could be better than slipping into the cool blue waters in your own backyard? Add in the BBQ, a few friends and some music and it’s an instant party any time you want!
But pools can bring with them more responsibility than most are willing to take on. They can sometimes even lower the resale value of your home as many prospective buyers simply aren’t interested in the added work and cost of maintaining a pool…
- weekly chlorine treatments
- time spent scrubbing the pool
- the cost of heating the water
- the electricity to pump and circulate
- repairs to ripped liners and cracked concrete…
The list goes on and it all adds up to time and money.
But that’s not the only area of responsibility. Because of their inherent danger and associated risks, pools bring about a new level of liability, and several municipalities even require that you have a permit and special fencing, gates and locks to keep out unwanted waders. As a general rule of thumb, any pool or body of water deeper than 36″ requires a security perimeter fence and permit. Check with your local bylaw office for rules specific to your neighbourhood.
Then, of course, there’s the insurance. In addition to adding to the overall replacement cost of your home, a pool will increase the chances that the liability portion of your insurance may be needed if someone is hurt while using your pool. The added costs for pool coverage vary from insurer to insurer, but all will require that you report the installation of a pool as it represents a change in the material risk of your policy. Speak to your broker about shopping around for the best coverage.
So what if your pool suffers damage over the winter? Say, for example, a cracked foundation or damage to the pumping system…? These damages are generally not covered by an insurance policy as they are deemed wear-and-tear problems. Typically, only when and if damage is caused by a peril that your policy covers will the insurance policy be activated.
So, before you pick up your shovel and start digging a hole for your new pool, consider digging through your insurance policy, your municipal bylaws and your chequebook. And, of course, speak to your broker to ensure you’ve got a policy in place that protects you and your property.Article by: Shannon Donnelly, Marketing & Communications
Moore-McLean Insurance Group Ltd.