Everybody in the Pool!

Despite Maine’s cool, wet June weather, pool season is here once again. Swimming pools provide healthy family fun. They can also be a source of risk to your family, friends and financial assets.

Sobering Water Safety Statistics
Drowning is second only to auto accidents as the most common cause of unintentional injury-related death for children under 14, according to the American Red Cross. According to an ACR survey, 48% of respondents said they had nearly drowned at some point in their life.

Pool injuries aren’t limited to the water, either. Slippery deck surfaces and other equipment can cause trouble too. The Red Cross’ web site has excellent water safety advice.

Five Smart Pool-Owners’ Tips
1. Make sure your pool is up to code. Plumbing, fencing and deck requirements can vary by locality. If your pool doesn’t meet current codes, your risk increases greatly.

2. Supervise pool activity.
It only takes seconds for tragedy to happen. Make sure a strong-swimming adult is present when the pool is in use. Use an alarm to prevent accidental, unsupervised or unwanted use of your pool.

3. Fence and lock your pool.
This is required in most locales for in-ground pools and for many above-ground pools.

4. Carry adequate liability insurance.
If someone is hurt while using your pool, insurance may be the only thing between you and bankruptcy. Make sure your liability limits are high enough to protect your net worth and earnings potential. A great idea: buy an umbrella policy, which provides even higher limits than homeowners coverage.

5. Consult Your Insurance Agent
Many insurers do not charge an extra premium for swimming pools, but they usually have underwriting requirements. These are designed to manage the company’s – and your – risk. For example, many companies will not insure pools with slides or diving boards, or without locking fences.

Don’t let tragedy spoil your summer fun when warmer weather finally comes to Maine (we hope!). Play it safe, and have fun!