It’s summer, that means beautiful weather, brisk evenings, shaded afternoons, and your beautiful pool and/or pond.
Pools and ponds are so refreshing and can make time in the sun very relaxing for family and friends.
However, along with the amazing relaxation that they bring, they also bring their association with risk and liability.
No matter your pool type; above ground or in ground, no matter if it’s three or six feet deep, they all contain some level of risk and exposure to liability.
How to Protect Your Pool
Your pool and/or pond will attract all kinds of guests. A huge risk and liability exposure are those visits from uninvited guests.
Let’s say you are at work and uninvited guests notice that no one is home. They take a peak around the back and notice your beautiful pool. In an attempt to be spontaneous, one of the uninvited guests suggests to the other that they take a dive into your pool.
On their way in, one of the uninvited guests decides to jump onto a chair, then into the pool but misjudges the distance. On her way into the pool, she scrapes her knee on the ledge and suffers a deep cut. Although she was uninvited, this happened on your property. You are now exposed to potential liability.
There are ways to protect others from injuries and yourself from liability claims if you have a pool or pond.
It is always safe to have your in-ground pool enclosed by a fence that is a minimum of 5ft tall. The fence should have a latching feature on the gate that provides access to the pool or pond area.
This allows you to lock the gate and restrict access. If you don’t have a fence and have a pool, you can use a pool cover to restrict accessibility.
For pool covers, it is best to contact your insurance carrier to make sure that it meets the safety requirements needed to obtain coverage.
The same is best for above the ground pools. These too should be restricted by having a fence with gate a that has a latching feature used for locking the gate that leads to the pool area. You should also be sure to make sure that your pool is installed according with your city ordinances.
What About Swimming Pool Accessories?
In addition to pools are pool accessories; and add ons such as ladders and slides. For above ground pools, these items should be locked away when the area is not being supervised and used. Pool slides should only be used with in-ground pools and removable ladders should only be used on above ground pools.
The following are recommended and safe tips for pool slides:
No higher than 12 feet with water level at the slides drop off between 6-8 feet
There should be stairs leading to the top of the slide and those stairs should be non-slip stairs
For the purpose of balance and assistance, the stairs should have handrails leading from the bottom to the top of the slide
The slide should be professionally installed, manufactured installed is best
Most ponds are in rural areas and this type of risk is probably low; however, if you have a pond and do not live in a rural area, please let me know so we talk about the best options for protection.
It is never safe to install any type of accessory or add on to your pond. There is a lot inside of that pond and resting at the bottom, such as; rocks, debris, grass, weed, etc. All of this effect the ponds depth and this can fluctuate over time.
If you are installing a pool, you might want to check find out how much it will increase the cost of your insurance first. Some insurance carrier’s charge a higher premium for added exposures.
The Bottom Line
The goal is to minimize harm, risk, and liability exposure. Whether you have a pool or a pond, keeping yourself and loved one’s safe from uninvited guests will make your pool and/or pond much more enjoyable.
About Ryan Ruffcorn, Muntz Insurance
Ryan grew up in Keokuk, graduated from Keokuk Senior High, and started his agency in Keokuk from scratch in 2003 after having worked for one of the largest international accounting firms, KPMG, LLP.
Ryan is hardworking; his loyal and trustworthy character is exemplified by the way he does business. He thoroughly enjoys helping clients through the insurance buying process to secure coverage for their most valuable assets.