Summer is here and pool “safety” is open!
You’ve been waiting all year, through the piles of snow and the frigid fall temperatures; now it’s time to uncover that beautiful backyard gem, spray on the sunscreen, and set up camp on your patio. But as relaxing as this picture-perfect setting can be, there are many dangerous pitfalls that come along with owning a pool, and thousands of families lose their children each year to drowning or near-drowning incidents’.
The pool is a magical place, but it can also be a very dangerous place. A deep body of water. A slippery deck. A metal ladder.. Ever wonder why lifeguards are always yelling “No running!” ?
Pool deaths and injuries are highest in residential homes. In the midst of a backyard barbecue, one of the kids can easily slip, bang their head or drown, all in the matter of time it takes to flip a burger. Fortunately, fatalities occur far less than injuries, but that doesn’t mean precautions shouldn’t be taken. Pool injuries can wreak havoc on your family, or another person’s family, and ruin the entire summer. It’s up to you, especially if you’re planning pool parties, to keep your family and your guests safe.
Summer Safety Precautions
The best way to practice pool safety is, of course, to keep a watchful eye, but supervision can’t prevent against all accidents; that’s why they’re called accidents. You can prepare for potential backyard blunders by increasing liability coverage in your homeowners policy. A homeowners policy typically provides $100,000 in base liability coverage. We recommend increasing those limits to $300,000 or $500,000 if you have a backyard pool. If your pool is not covered, and one of your guests slips and breaks a leg, you could be looking at some serious medical and legal expenses.
PUP – Personal Umbrella Policy
In the summer, with friends and family scattered about the pool area, the odds of having an accident increase. To add an extra layer of protection, it’s recommended that homeowners invest in a personal umbrella policy (PUP). A PUP provides liability coverage above the limits of your homeowner’s policy – generally up to $1 million. PUP protection begins when you’ve exhausted the required underlying insurance amount of your homeowner’s policy. Your agent can help you determine whether you have appropriate protection in place on your underlying policy to help prevent a gap in your coverage.
Additional Safety Tips
The Consumer Product Safety Commission recommends a few more helpful tips to ensure pool safety:
- Install a fence at least 4 feet high around the pool, along with gates that are both self-closing and self-latching.
- Children should be supervised around the pool, as well as taught water safety skills.
- Invest in an automatic pool cover; that way you’re in control of who goes in the pool, and when, with the touch of a button.
- Can’t afford a pool cover? Try a pool alarm! They sense pressure changes in the water and alert when something or someone has fallen in.
You want to enjoy your summer, but safety always comes first. When you have kids, and you have a pool, you’ve got to make sure you’ve taken all the necessary precautions. Safeguard your pool. Invest in effective equipment. Teach your children pool safety. And prepare yourself with the proper coverage in the event of an accident.
If you’d like some help with protecting your pool-dwellers this summer, or would like to learn more about pool safety, call one of our Insurance Architects today! We’ll set you up with a policy that ensures your family and guests are safe in the case of an outdoor accident. Give us a call at 443.783.5752 or click below!