Homeowners insurance may help cover repairs to your home if its roof collapses, but swimming pool collapse is typically excluded from coverage. Homeowners insurance specifically won’t cover damage to certain structures on your property if the cause of loss involves collapse, including swimming pools, fences, awnings, and decks.
A common cause of pool collapse is a build up of snow, rainwater, and ice on the pool’s cover. The weight of the elements can be too heavy for the pool walls to contain, causing them to fracture and collapse.
Although “weight of ice and snow” is a covered peril in a standard homeowners insurance policy, coverage typically doesn’t extend to swimming pools. That means if an ice sheet forms on your pool cover and causes its walls to collapse, homeowners insurance likely won’t cover repairs. Home insurance also won’t cover pool repairs if it collapses from not being drained or installed properly.
What causes a pool to collapse?
Above ground pools are more likely to collapse than inground pools, but both types of pools are capable of collapsing.
Below are common causes of pool collapse:
The weight of snow or ice on a pool’s cover. If you don’t drain your pool cover, the rainwater that collects can freeze and form a sheet of ice. The weight of ice or snow are common culprits of pool collapse
Draining your pool too much. An older inground pool may not be able to withstand the weight of dirt against it once it is empty or if the water levels are too low. Groundwater can also push against the pool walls and cause it to collapse
The pool was installed on sloping ground or the ground erodes and sinks
The pool was installed incorrectly
You didn’t make necessary repairs to the pool, or the pool is old and wears down over time
When doesn’t home insurance cover pool collapse?
Although homeowners insurance covers damage to swimming pools from fire, lighting, explosions, and weather-related damage, most causes of swimming pool collapse aren’t covered.
The standard homeowners insurance policy form outlines the different structures on your property that aren’t covered in the event of collapse, like pools, fences, awnings, patios, docks, and decks. That means if your awning collapses onto your above ground pool which causes that to collapse, you wouldn’t be covered.
Here are some other common instances of pool collapse that wouldn’t be covered:
Freezing, thawing, or the weight of water or ice
Home insurance won’t cover damage to swimming pools caused by freezing, thawing, or the weight of ice and snow, which are all common causes of pool collapse.
The weight contents, equipment, or people
Home insurance also won’t cover pool collapse caused by the weight of people or animals, so if a deer gets stuck on your pool cover and causes it to collapse, you won’t be covered.
Wear and tear or faulty construction
Home insurance also doesn’t cover your swimming pool if it is damaged due to normal wear and tear or poor installation. If you drain your pool and the pressure of the earth or groundwater causes the pool walls to cave in and collapse, you likely won’t be covered for repairs. If the frame of your above ground pool breaks down over time and eventually collapses, that also wouldn’t be covered.
If the pool concrete cracks or sinks into the ground
Homeowners insurance also typically excludes coverage for collapse caused by shrinking, expanding, cracking, or sagging. That means if your pool’s concrete slab cracks or sinks into the ground and causes the pool to collapse, you likely wouldn’t be covered for repairs.
Flood and earthquake damage
Homeowners insurance specifically excludes damage caused by flooding and earthquakes, so you wouldn’t be covered if either caused your pool to collapse.
When might homeowners insurance cover pool collapse?
If your pool collapses for any of the following reasons, you may be covered by homeowners insurance:
If your home or another structure collapse onto the pool
Homeowners insurance may cover repairs to your pool if your home (or other covered structures) collapse onto it and cause the pool itself to collapse.
In other words, the only instance pool collapse would be covered is if a part of your home collapses onto it. Although it’s unlikely, this scenario could play out if you have an indoor pool. If you have an indoor pool, check with your insurance company to see how it’s covered.
If a covered peril causes your pool to collapse
Homeowners insurance may also cover pool collapse if the damage was caused by a covered peril (that wasn’t listed as an excluded peril for swimming pools). For example, if a fire damages your above ground pool and causes the walls to collapse, homeowners insurance may help pay to repair or replace the pool.
How to prevent your pool from collapsing
It’s important to prep your pool for the winter months. Below are steps you can take to help prevent your pool from collapsing.
Properly close down your pool for the winter. Lower your pool’s water level to the recommended amount, remove stairs and ladders, and install an appropriate winter pool cover
Purchase a pool cover pump. A pool cover pump can remove water and snow that builds up on your pool’s cover. This is important to prevent your pool from collapsing from the weight of snow and ice
Install your pool on a concrete pad or pavers on flat ground
Hire a professional to install your above ground pool
Keep up with pool maintenance. If the pool is above ground, check the frame for loose or corroded fasteners and screws