Q

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

A

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

Kara McGinley

By

Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is an insurance editor at Policygenius, specializing in home, auto, and renters insurance. She's been writing about insurance since 2019, and her work and insights have been referenced in Kiplinger and WRAL.com.

Published March 10, 2021|3 min read

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Homeowners insurance companies see pools as a hazardous risk, and to help lower that risk insurers typically require you to put a fence around your swimming pool to help prevent accidental drownings or bodily injury. Homeowners insurance can help pay for legal and medical expenses if someone gets injured or drowns while using your swimming pool. But if your pool has no fence around it and someone is accidentally injured or drowns, home insurance may deny you coverage since you didn’t install the required fence.

Most municipalities have legal requirements for fences around swimming pools, too. Depending on where you live, your city or town may have regulations or laws about how high the fence around the pool should be and what kind of safety features it should have, like a gate lock.

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

  • Local municipalities have regulations and laws around pool fences, too. They may require your fence to be a certain height and have a lock

  • 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

Does insurance require a fence around a pool?

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. 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.

Insurers 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.

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.

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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 legal regulations 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 a just around your pool only, 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.

Can home insurance deny coverage if my pool has no fence?

If your insurance company requires you to install a fence around your pool and you don’t do it 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. For example, if a child jumps into your unfenced pool without your knowledge and injures themself, home insurance wouldn’t cover the legal fees or medical expenses that you’d be liable for, since a pool fence was a requirement for coverage.

Can a pool fence lower my rates?

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.

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