Pools, trampolines, and dogs are meant to be fun, but since insurance hates fun, having any of these can increase your premium. In this article, we’ll talk through the risks that are present, why it can increase the cost for insurance, and how you can be better prepared in the case of an accident.
There are waves of liability surrounding homes with pools (see what I did there?!), so make sure to check with your insurance provider to see if your pool is included or excluded on your home insurance policy. In the insurance industry, pools are referred to as an “attractive nuisance” which means pools can attract children and others making you, as the homeowner, automatically liable, regardless of if you gave the individual permission to use your pool.
Because of this, we typically recommend at least $500,000 in liability coverage if you have a swimming pool. If you need more than $500,000 worth of liability coverage for your pool because of its size, location, or other characteristics like your net worth, adding an umbrella policy for extra protection is a great option. An umbrella policy will kick in once the liability limits of your underlying policies (home or auto) are exhausted. This might seem like overkill, but if someone is seriously injured or worse, it could mean losing everything you have.
Well, that got dark. Getting back to the light…
How can you reduce risks associated with having a pool? A fence is strongly recommended, and sometimes required, but here is how you can take extra steps to protect yourself:
· Have a fence with a lockable gate
· Install an alarm when someone enters the pool area
· Never let anyone swim alone
· Get trained in CPR and first aid
· Add lights by the pool area
· Do not allow running or diving on the pool deck
High liability risk on your homeowner’s policy doesn’t stop at pools, lucky you!
Some insurance companies specifically exclude trampoline-related incidents from their policies because they pose such a high risk. If you are buying a trampoline on a whim, it is imperative that you alert your home insurance provider, because if you misrepresented owning one on an application, your policy could be canceled, or your coverage could be denied when there is a claim.
Here are some helpful tips to keep your trampoline fun and safe:
· Ensure your trampoline is properly set up
· Purchase a net for surrounding the trampoline
· Position your trampoline on flat, even ground
· Do not allow children to play alone without adult supervision
· Discuss safety rules with everyone beforehand
If you are unsure if your trampoline is disclosed in your policy, or if your current insurer covers trampolines as part of your homeowner's form, contact us and we would be happy to help.
Wow, first we went to the dark place with pools, then we talked about trampolines and the risks they pose to homeowners, now we are going to ruin dogs. What a blog!
Most insurance companies are not very particular about whether you have a dog, but rather the breed of dog, and if it has had any biting incidents.
Insurance companies are most concerned about what they consider high-risk breeds. We know this subject is controversial to many (we don’t make the rules, we just write blogs about them), but here are dog breeds that are considered more high risk:
· Alaskan Malamutes
· Doberman Pinschers
· German Shepherds
· Great Danes
· Pit Bulls & Staffordshire Terriers
· Presa Canarios
· Siberian Huskies
· Or a mix of any of the above
If you have any dog, here are some precautions you can take to help minimize your risk of an accident.
· Make sure to keep your dog on a leash in public places
· Hang up signs on your property to alert people of your dog
· Continue to get your dog vaccinated for rabies each year
· Don’t leave your dog unattended with children
· Respect the dog's space when they are sleeping, eating, or drinking
If you aren’t an insurance geek like us, you probably don’t think about risk when you are buying a pool, trampoline, or dog. But after you make that purchase, make sure you reach out to us or your insurance provider so you can get your insurance plan squared away.