Lots of people go on vacations for the chance to lounge next to a pool, so to have one in your own backyard sounds incredible. The truth is, pool sales have shot up in Canada, says the National Post, and not entirely because of the pandemic. Being cooped up is one thing, but combine that with heat like we’ve been experiencing and a pool on your property begins to look very attractive.
It shouldn’t be surprising that pool sales are on the rise, as many homeowners have put a lot of time and effort into home upgrades and renovations over the last year and a half. There are a lot of questions that come before moving to the pool installation phase, and rightly so. Pools require a lot of maintenance, and are considered by many insurance providers to be a risk on your home insurance coverage.
Pool insurance will be added to your home insurance coverage
If you are considering adding a pool to your backyard décor, your insurance provider will need to know, as they do with every major change you make to your home. The amount it would cost to rebuild the pool should something happen will be factored into your policy. At the same time, talking to an insurance broker such as us at Lane’s is also a good idea. We can offer a clear and cognizant overview of your current coverage and offer some alternatives at the same time. While you’re shopping for a pool, you might as well shop for insurance, too.
Pool insurance has a lot to do with liability
Owning a pool does greatly increase the odds of an accident happening at your home, and all insurance policies assess risk of liability. Your liability insurance’s function is to provide the funds for litigation if someone who was hurt on your property decides to sue. Liability insurance is commonly thought of as “accident insurance,” and it covers for both bodily injury and property damage, such as if a leak causes damage to your neighbour’s property.
We all know that it’s best to prevent accidents before they happen, though:
- Consider installing a smaller fence directly around your pool’s deck with a gate that locks, and keep the key hidden. This will help ensure it is only being used with your permission.
- There should always be adult supervision when there are children in the pool.
- Have everyone in the family take CPR and First Aid courses.
- Keep emergency lifesaving devices handy (such as ring buoys, life jackets, rescue tubes, and so on).
- Clearly post safety rules with the expectation that people follow them.
- Keep the deck clear of tripping hazards.
The City of Calgary also needs to know
Since installing a pool is a major construction project, you will need to go through the appropriate application and approval process with the City of Calgary. Quite often, pool installation companies will do this for you and include the cost in your final number. Generally, all that is required is a building safety approval (building permit) and an electrical permit. You will also need to provide proof that your design is compliant with bylaws and meets all codes.
Note that all swimming pools need to be protected by a fence with a secure gate that locks. The fence must be at least 1.8 metres high, constructed so that all support boards are facing inside the yard, and with boards placed closer than 1 centimetre apart to make it difficult to climb from the outside. The only time a fence is not required is if the pool has a lockable cover.
The type of pool you want matters
If you choose to install an above-ground swimming pool, your pool insurance will cover it as a separate structure on your property. An in-ground pool will be covered under your regular dwelling insurance.
It’s important to diligently maintain your pool
Keeping your pool nice and clean will keep it a safe environment for you and your family. Unclean pools are the perfect breeding grounds for bacteria, and swimming can cause ailments such as diarrhea, eye infections, and skin rashes. The water will need to be tested, the pump checked, filters cleaned, and the sides and bottom wiped at least once monthly. Also keep your pool’s deck and edges in excellent repair to reduce the chances of someone falling or cutting themselves.
You may want to start shopping now
As more and more people are investing in a pool to make their yard the perfect getaway, plus provide even more exercise options, pandemic-related supply chain issues are making it hard for builders to get started. The National Post reported in April that pool construction companies across the country are waiting much longer than usual for parts, so if you would like one installed by next summer it may be smart to start now.
Talk to Lane’s about your pool insurance options
Lane’s Insurance is a leading Alberta-based brokerage working out of Calgary, Banff, Edmonton and greater Alberta. In addition to outstanding claims support and value-added service, Lane’s Insurance helps you save by getting insurers to bid on your business. The end result is fantastic coverage at lower rates.