Beautiful weather, shaded afternoons, and brisk evenings–summertime is almost here! This means cookouts, parties, pools, and . . . liability.
Pools are refreshing and make time outdoors very relaxing for family and friends, however, along with the relaxation, they also bring risk and liability. No matter your pool type: above ground or in ground, 3 feet deep or 6 feet deep, they all contain some level of exposure to liability.
Pools attract all kinds of guests, wanted and unwanted. Let’s say you are at work and uninvited guests notice that no one is home. They take a peek over the fence and notice your beautiful pool. One of the uninvited guests suggests to the other that they take a dive into your pool. On their way in, one of the guests decides to jump onto a chair, then into the pool but misjudges the distance. On her way into the pool, she scrapes her elbow on the ledge and suffers a deep cut. Although she was uninvited, this happened on your property. You are now exposed to potential liability.
So how do you protect yourself from something like this?
How to protect yourself from pool liability
It is always safe to have your in-ground pool enclosed by a fence that is a minimum of 5ft tall. The fence should have a latching feature on the gate that provides access to the pool area. Having a lock allows you to lock the gate and restrict access. If you don’t have a fence but have a pool, you can use a pool cover to restrict accessibility. For pool covers, it is best to contact your insurance carrier to make sure that it meets the safety requirements needed to obtain proper coverage.
Above ground, pools should be restricted by having a fence with gate a that has a latching feature used for locking the gate that leads to the pool area. You should also make sure that your pool is installed according to your city ordinances. There are pool accessories and add-ons as well, such as ladders and slides. If you have an above ground pool, these items should be locked away when the area is not being supervised and used. Things like pool slides should only be used with in-ground pools and removable ladders should only be used on above ground pools.
Tips for pool slides and safety:
Slides should be no higher than 12 feet with the water level at the slides drop off between 6-8 feet.
Stairs should lead to the top of the slide and those stairs should be non-slip stairs.
The stairs should have handrails leading from the bottom to the top of the slide for balance and assistance.
The slide should be professionally installed, manufactured installed is best.
If you are installing a pool, discuss insurance premiums with an insurance agent. Some insurance carriers charge a higher premium for added exposures. Give us a call, we are happy to help!
About Travis Etheridge
Travis, the co-owner of The Insurance Alliance, joined the insurance industry in 2011. He is married to his lovely wife Anica, and has an amazing son Henry. Travis is passionate about helping people, so the insurance industry is a natural fit. The thing he loves most about the industry is being there for his clients at their most trying times. He believes everyone is an individual and they deserve an individual plan best suited for their situation.