With the arrival of warmer weather, several will purchase and install an outdoor swimming pool or spa to maximize on the pleasures of the hot summer days.
Thus, with this addition to your dwelling, it is important to notify your broker of this so that he can proceed with making the necessary adjustments to your home insurance and protect you from situations that may occur.
Your in-ground pool
For starters, the coverage for an outdoor in-ground pool is not the same with all insurers. Some consider the outdoor in-ground pool as an integral part of the building, therefore covering it under the same terms as the building. Others, however, exclude it, meaning that the pool must specifically be covered by way of an endorsement.
Your aboveground pool
At all times, your aboveground pool must explicitly be mentioned in your insurance contract by way of an endorsement in order for coverage to apply.
Your spa and its equipment
Like your aboveground pool, the outdoor spa must clearly be mentioned in your insurance contract by way of an endorsement in order for coverage to apply.
Situations that are covered if you have insurance
The majority of claims made and covered by an endorsement are those associated with freezing or thawing, particularly in the springtime. The pool cover becomes more fragile as the temperature varies and can break more easily under the weight of snow or by the impact of ice on its edges. This sometimes even causes damage to the structure.
Moreover, some insurers cover damages caused by the impact of objects, whereas others will consider it an exclusion. For example, a chair falls into the pool, swirls and leaves marks or scratches on the cover.
It is also important to know that indemnification of outdoor swimming pools and spas are calculated based its depreciated value, meaning that a percentage of the amount applies to the cost of replacing the damage goods and equipment based on the number of winters they have been exposed to.
What isn’t covered, even with the endorsement
With respect to general exclusions, most contracts contain the same ones, such as gradual damage that occurs continuously and repeatedly as well as damage caused by vermin. For example, the ravage by a raccoon that falls into your pool and struggles to get out causing damage to your cover would be excluded.
Moreover, the costs of repair or mending related to faulty workmanship or defects in the material are not covered, as well as damages caused by the natural movements of the ground. For example, damages caused by a landslide, such as what happened at Lac-des-Seize-Îles last April, would be excluded.
Every year, several incidents involving private swimming pools are reported, such as a person’s fall from the edge of a pool or horror stories of a neighbour’s or friend’s drowning after venturing into the pool.
Therefore, it is important to take measures, such as fencing in installations, restricting easy access to the swimming area, ensuring supervision and mandating a person responsible for keeping an eye on children in the pool.
As such, you can check the Lifesaving Society‘s website which provides safety tips for the installation of your in-ground or aboveground swimming pool and for making it inaccessible. Additionally, the Government of Canada’s website offers some prevention tips on safe swimming.
In closing, when you make investments that bring changes to your situation, it is important that you inform your broker of such changes in order for your insurance contract to reflect your reality and to enable him to support you, intervene and provide you with informed answers in case of loss.