July 18, 2014

Pool Parameters

Incorporating a swimming pool into the landscape of a luxury home presents a unique set of potentially unforeseen challenges, such as the need to get multiple permits and future considerations – such as safety equipment – for homeowners. But as Jake Morin, a Program Manager for ProSight Specialty Insurance’s Construction and Casualty Practices, notes, most of these challenges can be overcome with advanced planning.

“Like any other building project, pools must be permitted with local agencies before construction begins. This can be a complex process involving compliance with municipal, county, and even state codes.” While it seems like an obvious part of the job to ensure the pool is not being constructed over gas, sewage, or water lines, there can also be other permits that are required under local codes. These can include mechanical permitting for heaters and electrical permitting for lights or a water filtration system. Having all of these permits in order before beginning construction can save money and reduce delays.

Pools create many additional considerations to ensure their safety even after they are built. Most areas require fencing of the yard and pool area as a part of the construction to prevent unfortunate accidents. The fencing can be supplemented with additional safety mechanisms such as a pool alarm. This alarm would alert the homeowner if an unsupervised child or pet has fallen in, or if the neighborhood teenagers have come over for an uninvited midnight swim. These can run up the costs of the project, so be sure to account for it at the onset of construction. Pools also present an additional liability for the homeowner. Depending on location and type of coverage, a pool can add up to $3600 annually to homeowner’s insurance cost, and many insurance companies simply won’t cover pools with diving boards or other potentially hazardous additions. Morin advises that all reasonable safety precautions should be implemented at the same time as the pool is installed.

For more information on ProSight’s insurance products for luxury homes, please visit us at https://www.prosightspecialty.com/solutions/luxury-home-builders/.