Home insurance requirements for swimming pools

Insurance companies typically require you to have a fence around your swimming pool to prevent accidents. Local municipalities also have their own fence requirements.

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Kara McGinleySenior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance ExpertKara McGinley is a former senior editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she specialized in homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Forbes Advisor, Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

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Key takeaways

  • Home insurance companies consider swimming pools to be a safety hazard and typically require pools to have fences around them to help prevent accidental drownings.

  • If you don’t install a pool fence, insurers may exclude your pool from coverage and deny your liability claim if someone gets hurt or drowns in your swimming pool.

  • Local municipalities have regulations and laws around pool fences, too, like requiring your fence to be a certain height or have a gate lock.

Swimming pool insurance requirements

Most home insurance companies require you to have a fence around your swimming pool as a condition of coverage, whether the pool is above ground or inground. 

Here’s a look at just some of the swimming pool insurance requirements you might have to meet in order to qualify for liability coverage through your home insurance company:

  • Fence around the pool: How high the fence needs to be and whether a lock is required will vary by insurance company.

  • Lights around the pool: Some insurers might require lights around the pool to prevent guests from slipping or falling in.

  • Non-skid tape on your diving board: Some insurers won’t cover pools that have diving boards, while others might require certain safety features like non-skid tape to prevent injuries.

  • Lock on the ladder of your above-ground pool: Many insurers will require a lock on the ladder of your above-ground pool, or require you to remove the ladder entirely when it’s not in use.

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Can I get home insurance if my pool has no fence?

You likely won’t be able to get home insurance if your pool has no fence. Insurers typically require pool fences to help lower the risk of accidental drownings and injury. Fences can keep guests from entering the pool area without your permission, and if you don’t have a fence around your pool, you open yourself up to more risks.

When you apply for homeowners insurance, insurers may send over an inspector to complete a home inspection to make sure your application is accurate. If you don’t have a fence around your pool, the home inspector will direct you to install one within a certain timeframe, typically 30 days. If you fail to install a fence within the required timeframe, they’ll likely deny coverage for your pool in the event you do need to file a claim, or they may cancel your policy altogether.

For example, a neighbor’s child could wander into your backyard and fall into your swimming pool and drown, and you could be found legally responsible. Home insurance would likely deny your liability claim in this scenario since you didn’t install a fence, and therefore broke a condition of your home insurance policy.

Is it illegal to have a pool with no fence?

It depends on where you live, but it is likely illegal to have a pool with no fence. Many towns and cities have strict laws for residential swimming pools. Home insurance companies will require you to install a fence, but the legal requirements for the height of the fence is determined by your municipality. If you don’t meet the pool fence requirements of your municipality, it could end up costing you an expensive fine.

Your town or city may legally require you to have a fence around the perimeter of your entire property or just around your pool, while some may require you to have both. Before you install your fence, check with your local municipality to make sure that it’s up to code.

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Can a pool fence lower my home insurance rates?

Probably not. Because insurers require pool fences as a condition of coverage, it won’t result in a discount. As we mentioned, a fence around your pool is likely legally required by the town or city that you live in, so insurers won’t give you a discount for doing what’s legally required.