Roxanne Hébert-McKenzie

Enjoy Your Pool in the Safest Way

During this period, it is very likely that we will be spending summer at home with our children. When the warm weather comes, there is nothing better than taking a dip in the pool (or thinking about purchasing one!). Here are some tips about best safety practices so that you can cool off with peace of mind!

Material damage: The difference between a hot tub, an above-ground pool, and an in-ground pool 

At the outset, it is important to know that damages caused by your installations are not all covered by your basic home insurance policy.

 The following elements are excluded:

  • Damage to hot tubs and above-ground or semi in-ground pools installed outside of your home, as well as to associated equipment.
  • Patios and platforms that are not attached to your building and that provide direct access to hot tubs or pools.

However, it is possible to add supplementary insurance coverage called an “endorsement” to protect against risks covered by the endorsement.

With regard to in-ground pools and associated equipment, coverage differs from one insurer to the next. To fully protect yourself from damage caused by freezing and thawing, by the weight of snow and ice, or by the rising of the water table, you must usually add in-ground pool supplementary coverage to your policy.

Compensation in the event of a claim

It is important to note that a pool depreciates quickly, based on the number of winters the structure has been exposed to. Therefore, in the event of a claim, compensation will be calculated based on a percentage of the replacement cost, which is generally as follows:

  • Payment of 100% for an above-ground or semi in-ground pool that is fewer than 4 years old.
  • Payment of 25% if your pool is over 10 years old.

Percentages may vary by insurer. However, in-ground pools do not depreciate as quickly and are sometimes even insured for their replacement value.

What if your pool leaks and causes water damage inside your home? The vast majority of insurance companies cover water damage caused by sudden and accidental leakage, breakage, overflow, or spillage of containers or installations containing water or associated equipment, even if you have not added an endorsement to your policy. The same goes if your pool causes damage to your neighbours’ property—you will be covered by the civil liability coverage in your basic policy.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact your broker.

Our safety tips

Did you know that you could be the target of a civil liability lawsuit if a person were to become injured or pass away due to your pool and a lack of safety measures? Such a suit could have severe financial consequences. To prevent a tragedy, you need to become informed about the legislation and safety measures related to the installation of a pool. Here are some of our tips:

  • Secure access to your pool. Access to your pool must be secured by a barrier or fence of at least 1.2 metres (4 feet) in height with vertical bars spaced no more than 10 centimetres (4 inches) apart. The take-away: children should not be able to climb or squeeze through the bars.
  • Install an automatic latch. The access door to the pool must close and lock automatically. The device must be installed inside in such a way that it is not accessible to young children.
  • Do not leave toys or eye-catching objects in the pool. This way you will prevent children from being tempted to swim without permission.
  • Always keep a close eye out! The best way to prevent catastrophe is through supervision. Never lose sight of a child playing poolside, and make sure that the access point is secured at all times. This will be a major challenge this year due to telecommuting and having our children at home. Make sure that your child does not slip out the back door when you aren’t looking. There are several inexpensive devices that you can install to prevent a patio door from being opened.
  • Make use of an anti-drowning device. Anti-drowning devices alert you when a child falls into the water. You can purchase one from several retailers.
  • Try at-home swimming lessons. These increasingly popular courses help children become familiar with the aquatic environment. Instructors also inspect the site and provide you with their recommendations.
  • Contact your municipality to learn about its safety standards before installing your pool, as they may be quite strict in certain areas.

Now that you’ve learned more, it’s time to enjoy. Have a nice swim!

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Roxanne Hébert-McKenzie Personal-Lines Director
Damage Insurance Broker
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