Ensure pool safety before diving in headfirst. Whether you own a pool or get invited to a friend’s pool, ensure pool safety by having a plan to prevent injuries, adequate insurance coverage and a regular maintenance schedule.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an average of 356 drowning deaths in pools and spas occur in the United States each year, with 77 percent of the deaths involving children under age five.
While drownings are certainly the most tragic, common injuries include:
- Clothing, jewelry, or fingers becoming entangled in drains
- Head injuries caused from diving into shallow water
- Overexposure to chemicals used to treat the water
- Slipping and falling on stairs, decks, or ladders
If you own a swimming pool, you must take reasonable precautions to ensure pool safety and prevent people from being injured. Some of the acts a “reasonable person” would be expected to do to include:
- Keeping the pool in good repair
- Limiting access by enclosing the pool with a fence
- Installing a locking hard cover when the pool is not in use
- Providing adequate supervision for children and non-swimmers
- Posting warning signs where appropriate
- Ensuring that lifesaving devices are readily available
- Refusing to allow intoxicated guests to swim
- Keeping the area around the pool well-lit and maintained
From an insurance standpoint, a personal umbrella policy is also a must-have. It won’t ensure pool safety or prevent an injury, but it will provide you with additional liability insurance should a tragedy occur. Most importantly, legal defense costs incurred during the claims process would also be covered, without subtracting from the limit of liability.
Besides adequate insurance coverage and a regular maintenance schedule to ensure pool safety, it is important to talk about pool safety with your children. Some tips include not allowing them to swim unattended, avoiding unsafe pools and pointing out possible hazards to those who owns unsafe pools.
If you own a pool, have set safety rules, maintain it regularly, make sure your insurance policy has adequate coverage and then slather on some sunscreen and float your days away, worry free.
Have questions about pool insurance? David Miller has answers. Miller, who writes the monthly Did You Know blog, is The Plexus Groupe’s Vice President, Client Executive for Private Client Solutions. Miller can be reached by calling 846-307-6141.