Putting in a Pool? What to Know About Homeowners Insurance

Couple lounging by an inground pool in the back yard of a large home.

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A pool could have a big impact on your insurance costs.

Key points

  • A swimming pool can add value to your home, but also be a liability.
  • If you're putting in a pool, you should expect your homeowners insurance costs to rise.

If you have a large backyard, you might consider putting in a pool and using it to beat the summertime heat. Of course, a pool can be an expensive endeavor, and you may end up spending a fair amount of money to have one installed. But putting in a pool could also impact your homeowners insurance. Here's what you need to know.

Gear up for higher costs

The premium you pay for your homeowners insurance policy hinges on a number of factors. These include the replacement cost of your home (meaning, the cost of rebuilding your home in the event of extreme damage) as well as the likelihood of having to pay out for a personal injury incurred on your property. When you put in a pool, both of these factors come into play in a manner that will likely cause your insurance premiums to rise.

First, an in-ground pool is generally considered part of your home itself, as opposed to personal property. (An above-ground pool may, in some cases, be considered personal property.) And so an in-ground pool will generally need to be factored into your home's replacement cost. That could, in turn, lead to higher premiums -- since it would cost more to replace your home with your newly-added pool than it would to replace your home and not rebuild that pool in the event of damage.

Next, there's liability to consider. The liability coverage portion of your homeowners insurance policy pays for medical bills or lawsuits resulting from injury on your property. Adding a pool will, in the eyes of most insurance companies, increase the likelihood of there being an injury on your property. Plus, it's a good idea to actively increase your liability coverage once you put in a pool. That way, you're more protected in case someone sustains an injury while visiting. But more liability coverage means higher premiums.

Of course, there are steps you can take to minimize the risk of pool-related injuries. These include installing a fence around your pool, putting in lights in your pool area, and making sure your pool deck is made of a non-slip material. Incidentally, your local municipal laws may require your pool to be fenced in to some degree, so that's worth looking into.

How much will your homeowners insurance increase after getting a pool?

It's difficult to come up with an exact number, as it will depend on factors that include the amount of liability coverage you want and the specific cost and features of the pool itself. You should generally expect your annual insurance costs to increase by at least a few hundred dollars.

That may seem like a lot of money. But seeing as how an in-ground pool could easily be a $50,000 project or more, it's something you'll need to factor into your budget.

In fact, it costs a lot of money to maintain a pool, so you'll need to make sure you can afford to keep up with that maintenance. When you pad your budget to account for that, you can add a little extra to cover your increase in homeowners insurance costs.

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