Homeowners insurance will typically cover a fenced-in swimming pool, but the added liability risk of a diving board may be a deal breaker for some insurance companies.
Homeowners insurance contains liability coverage, which can help pay for medical expenses or lawsuits if someone is injured or drowns while using your swimming pool and you’re found legally responsible. Diving boards increase the odds of someone getting injured, which is why insurers may quote you higher rates or exclude coverage for one.
Diving boards aren’t technically illegal, but local municipalities have their own regulations around them — like how deep your pool must be, or height restrictions for the diving board. You should check with your insurance company about whether or not diving boards are covered, or if they’ll cancel your policy should you install one.
When does home insurance cover diving boards?
Home insurance companies consider swimming pools to be “attractive nuisances,” meaning they’re a safety hazard and liability risk. By adding a diving board into the mix, you’re only increasing the potential chance of an accident or injury.
When you apply for homeowners insurance, insurance companies may send a home inspector to your house to complete an inspection and confirm that your application is accurate. If you have a diving board, an inspector may inform you that you need to remove it within a certain timeframe. If you don’t abide, the insurance company may deny or cancel coverage.
If an insurance company does include coverage for your pool and diving board, it may quote you higher rates because of the added risk, which is part of the reason why residential diving boards have become less common in recent years. If someone gets hurt diving into your pool, your home insurance liability coverage can help cover their medical expenses, or cover legal expenses if you’re sued. You should consider increasing your liability coverage if you have a swimming pool (with or without a diving board).
If someone is injured diving into your pool and you don’t have enough liability coverage to pay for the lawsuit, your home and future assets could be at risk. If an insurance company includes coverage for your diving board, you may want to consider additional liability insurance to fully protect your assets in the event of an accident.
Do I need extra coverage if my pool has a diving board?
If your pool has a diving board, consider increasing your liability coverage limit. You can typically add up to $500,000 in liability coverage, but if your assets exceed that amount, you may want to consider umbrella insurance.
Umbrella insurance is designed for people whose assets — like a car, house, or retirement savings — are more than a home or auto policy’s $500,000 liability coverage limit.
Umbrella insurance increases your liability coverage to protect you from liability claims that exceed the coverage in your home or auto policy. Umbrella policies are typically sold in increments of $1 million, with a $5 million coverage maximum. Once you hit your home liability coverage limit, umbrella insurance coverage will kick in to cover the rest. Insurance companies will typically require you to have a minimum amount of auto or home liability coverage to qualify for umbrella insurance.
Are diving boards illegal in my state?
The town or city you live in may have regulations around how high a diving board can be, and how deep your swimming pool has to be if you have a diving board. If your diving board doesn’t meet those regulations, then it’d be considered illegal and you’d likely need to fix or remove it, or else you may receive a fine. It’s important that your diving board is up to code — even if your homeowners insurance does cover your diving board, if it isn’t up to code and someone gets injured, your liability claim could be denied.