Make sure your pool is well maintained this summer to ensure claims are paid.

Anything deemed to be wear and tear or maintenance related, is never covered in the insurance policy

With summer having arrived, many homeowners only begin to look at their swimming pools now and realize that they may have neglected maintenance during the colder winter months.

The fact is that having a swimming pool requires all-year-round maintenance or the homeowner may risk having a claim repudiated if the damage is determined as a result of neglect.

It is vital for homeowners to realize that when it comes to swimming pools, only damage considered sudden and unforeseen will be covered by their insurance policy.

“This is provided that they have included the proper value of the swimming pool in their home insurance policy.”

Anything deemed to be wear and tear or maintenance related, is never covered in the insurance policy.

“It is up to the insured to ensure that the condition of the property, including all building structures from swimming pools and jacuzzi’s to garages and other outbuildings, are well maintained.”

“Claims for the discoloration of the swimming pool lining will usually not be covered as this is a gradual process that happens over a period of time.”

“However, if a claim is due to the pool pump being struck by lightning or a tree falling into the pool after a bad storm, breaking the pool walls, then the claim is more likely to be covered,”

“It is recommended that pool owners clean their pools thoroughly at least once a week with brushing, removal of leaves, back-washing and adding the appropriate chemicals such as chlorine or algaecide if needed.”

“Acid levels should also be checked once a week as the water chemistry must be correct in order for chemicals to be most effective.”

Homeowners should also ensure that the pool pump is included under mechanical and electrical cover within their homeowner’s policy. ”

“Many consumers also have the misconception that having a swimming pool on a property can result in higher insurance premiums but this is not the case.”

“A swimming pool is considered as part of the building structure of the house and is not used as a rating factor when determining insurance premiums.”

“It is important to note when taking out your insurance policy that if the property is considered a high risk area for subsidence or landslip, which can result in cracking in the walls of the home or swimming pool, most standard insurance policies will exclude damage caused to swimming pools.”

“If your property is located in a high risk area it is a good idea to speak to your financial advisor and request to extend the policy to include the cover if it is not already part of the policy.”

“Swimming pools and pumps, like most items, will need to be replaced and upgraded over time, so it is a good idea to keep your pool and other building structures in good condition and discuss any queries or concerns about the insurance of your swimming pool with your financial advisor,”

Tips for good pool maintenance and safety:

Maintain secure fencing and a locked entrance around the pool and deck area to prevent access when adequate supervision is not available.
Make sure there is adequate lifesaving equipment in the pool area, including life preservers and a rescue hook.
Keep chemicals safely stored away from the pool area. Follow all storage and usage instructions recommended by the manufacturer.
Never leave a child unattended in the water or pool area.
Inspect the liner periodically as rips and tears can appear undetected at the top of the lining.
Check for signs of wear and tear in areas where pipes or other items may have penetrated the liner (e.g., skimmers, hoses, etc.).
For swimming pools located above the ground, check metal supports for rust or deterioration. These may indicate areas where the pool could rupture or a person could be injured.
Check the deck for safety hazards (e.g. protruding nails, loose boards, etc.).
Keep your pool maintained and seasonably prepped. Be sure to lower the water level and keep the pool covered in the winter months.
Install an audible pool alarm to alert you if someone falls into the pool while it is unattended.
“Excerpts from original internet article – Courtesy of: iTinews – 6/12/2011 – Author: Evan Gilbert – MUA Insurance Acceptances – Christelle Fourie (M.D. MUA) – quoted in article”