|WILBRAHAM Will people have a problem with their homeowners insurance company if they install a swimming pool? It’s unlikely as long as the pool meets the insurer’s safety standards.|
“In most cases swimming pools are not a problem for insurers,” John Laprade with Harrington Insurance Agency in Wilbraham, said. In fact, it’s pool accessories such as diving boards that are the concern.
Those who install a pool should notify their insurance agent or company, Laprade advised. Those who don’t open themselves to a possibility of misrepre-sentation, and the insurer could deny a claim. Homeowners might have a big problem if someone gets hurt using their pool.
“When additions are made to your property, it’s important to notify your agent. That includes pools, trampolines, fences and other changes,” Laprade said.
Typically, an insurer won’t cancel a policy or raise the rate for adding a pool. The carrier just wants to make sure that the pool, whether in-ground or aboveground, has an approved fence and a locking gate, and is generally safe, he added.
“More than the pool itself, carriers are more concerned about diving boards, slides and the proximity of structures,” he said.
Most pool injuries involve slips and falls, so take some commonsense precautions, Laprade said. A slippery pool deck increases the risk of serious injury. Also, when a pool is installed too close to a house or other high structure, it’s tempting for a kid to try jumping into it.
Insurers are getting more concerned about trampolines, and some insurers will cancel a policy if a homeowner installs one. Those who are planning to buy a trampoline should talk to their agent first, Laprade advised.
While many insurers are fine with trampolines if they have proper safety netting, some aren’t, and a homeowner may have to change carriers.
Laprade referenced a case where a child broke his arm playing on his customer’s trampoline. Because the homeowner hadn’t notified the insurance agent, the insurance company had the right to deny covering the claim. Fortunately, the insurer did pay.
“That’s a risk you don’t need to take. Always keep your agent up to date,” he said.
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