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Backyard Pools

Jul 15 2020 2 min read

Not all businesses struggle during a pandemic. Anyone who contacted a pool installer in 2020 can likely confirm that statement.

“When we called in June about a hot tub they said if we booked now it would not be installed until next January.” says one resident. This experience is not an uncommon one.

As our options for entertainment and leisure are extremely limited this year vs. previous summers (including the closure or restrictions of public pools in some areas), more people are looking for what they can do privately. One of the most common solutions? Install a pool.

In Hamilton, as just one example, the number of permits issued for swimming pools was 24% higher compared to previous years including a tripling in June 2020 over June 2019.

Homeowners installing private pools are welcomed into new worlds quickly. We would like to focus this article on some of the safety and insurance implications that come with having a private pool.

  1. Property insurance
    When you install a pool, you open yourself up to more to potential physical damage to your property as well as an increased risk of personal accident and liability issues. Swimming pools = more liability risk = additional premium (but typically pretty reasonable).If you are thinking about installing a pool, or have recently done so, make sure you contact your insurance provider to ensure it is properly covered. Aside from the liability extension, it will be necessary to reevaluate the amount of coverage required to include the swimming pool.According to the Ottawa Citizen, the cost of installing a swimming pool starts around $20,000, but the insurance is quite affordable. Compare that with the thousands it costs to replace a damaged pool liner or the medical bills of a neighbour who slipped and fell into your pool. Ask questions of your agent to be sure you understand what is covered and what is excluded under your policy coverage and limits.
  2. Municipal permits
    To help ensure certain safety standards are adhered to, most municipalities will require you to apply and pay for a permit if you have a pool on your property. There may be requirements regarding fencing, a gate or other measures as determined.In Welland, as an example, any pool capable of holding more than 2 feet of water requires an enclosure permit. This costs the homeowner $120 + a $250 deposit for an above ground pool or $120 + a $500 deposit for an in-ground pool. Note: deposits are returned once all conditions of the permit are satisfied. If thinking about installing a pool, or have recently done so, make sure to contact your local government to ensure you have everything covered.
  3. Maintenance by-laws
    Even after being fully insured and have jumped through all the permit hoops, you are never truly done with the added responsibilities that come with being a pool owner.Using Welland as our example again, the city has a By-law (2010 – 119) that helps enforce proper pool enclosures are maintained on an ongoing basis. This applies to any substantial repairs to existing pool enclosures including fences and gates. The purpose of this by-law is to help reduce the risk of someone entering the pool, especially younger children.

Remember, homeowners can be held liable for deaths and injuries that take place in their swimming pools, even if the victim was trespassing. If you have not done everything required you are leaving yourself vulnerable to potential catastrophic loss.

Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.

Please contact us with any questions you may have about this or any other topic related to your insurance.

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