Seeman Holtz Investigations Reveal How Pool Owners Can Protect Themselves and Others this Summer
As we enter the fast track to summer, homeowners are getting prepared for the season by preparing our yards, planning barbeques and, of course, getting our pools ready for friends and families. Seeman Holtz investigations into pool ownership reveal that there are several inherent liability risks to owning a pool. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways that pool owners can work towards making their pools safer places while also mitigating legal risks. Here, Seeman Holtz provides a high-level overview of pool ownership and its impact on insurance coverage.
What are Common Pool Injuries?
This Seeman Holtz investigation notes that one of the first steps to evaluating a pools impact on a homeowners’ decision to seek comprehensive insurance is the risk of injury. Injuries can be common at our homes and those of friends and family in part because they are not bound to the same rules and regulations of public-access pools. Drownings and severe injuries are much more common in places where people feel comfortable and can cause complications that open homeowners up to litigation. Some of the most common pool injuries include:
· Slip and fall injuries
· Diving board injuries
· Traumatic Brain Injury
There are many reasons that accidents can occur near a pool, and incidents can occur through no fault of one’s own. Still, Seeman Holtz does recognize that some factors tend to increase the risk of injury. For example, not knowing how to swim, intoxication, a lack of supervision, horse play, and improper security can contribute to injuries. Statistics show that as many as 350 children under the age of 5 drown in pools each year, with two-thirds occurring between May and August. This means that many issues with pool safety are linked to an even momentary lack of supervision. To this point, pool owners should internalize that pool safety is everyone’s responsibility and take the steps to ensure that their pool is safe for themselves and visitors ahead of summer parties.
Does Owning a Pool Affect Homeowner’s Insurance?
Homeowners insurance can protect against damages to your home and personal property which, depending on your policy, includes your pool. This can also extend to if you have a guest that is injured in a pool related incident, as home insurance may help cover bills and legal expenses. Despite some coverage being inherent to base homeowner insurance policies, Seeman Holtz investigations reveal that pool ownership may necessitate increasing or adjusting coverage amounts due to pool’s liability implications as an “attractive nuisance”.
Attractive nuisance is a term used in the insurance space to describe a potentially hazardous condition or object that could cause harm to children. Homeowners that own attractive nuisances such as pools often consider additional liability coverage because of the risks of injury pools can have for visitors. For example, most policies can include about $100,000 of liability protection, and policyholders with swimming pools may choose to increase their liability coverage anywhere between $300,000 and $500,000 by increasing policy limits or securing an additional umbrella policy.
Making Pools Safer
While exploring policies can be helpful for individuals that are considering securing more coverage for their pools, Seeman Holtz acknowledges that there are quicker solutions to maintaining peace of mind as well. The firm maintains that proactive thinking is one of first lines of defense against accidents and ensuing legal matters.
There are multiple steps homeowners can take to make their pools safer and help prevent injuries. For example, barriers such as a pool fence can prevent small children from accessing the pool in the absence of adults. High quality pool covers also add a layer of protection as they can support the weight of an adult without warping and are often heavy enough that a child cannot lift them own their own. Covers in addition to fencing can make pools safer especially when they are not in use by either you or others.
Of course, there are additional steps that homeowners can take to show their commitment to safety around the pool as well. Pool alarms can be an excellent precaution if you have small children that may attempt to open the gate unsupervised, as they can alert you if the gate is opened in your absence. Homeowners can also keep potentially hazardous equipment such as pool chemicals, vacuums, and other maintenance materials out of reach. In its place, consider keeping pool safety equipment at arm’s reach in case of an emergency.
Seeman Holtz investigations into pool ownership show that, while a fun source of entertainment for the summer, pools can quickly become dangerous. Fortunately, there are multiple steps that homeowners can take to ensure that they are making every effort to maintain a level of safety during pool parties and events this summer. By exploring coverage options that can mitigate the damaging effects of others’ injuries and potential litigation as well as remaining proactive regarding potential dangers, homeowners with pools can rest assured that they are doing everything necessary to keep everyone protected.