Insurance and Your Backyard Pool
Few things can get kids excited as much as the thought of taking a dip in their own backyard pool. But before you start to flow the water in, you might want to touch base with your homeowners insurer.
Backyard swimming pools can range from luxurious in-ground pools (costing anywhere from a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars) to more inexpensive above-ground pools and hot tubs. You can even pick up a shallow “kiddie” pool for under $200, some even for as little as $20.
But the liability of owning a pool may cost you a whole lot more. Almost 3,600 people drowned in the United States in 2005, many of them in residential pools. Accidental drowning is the leading cause of accidental injury death for children 4 and younger and is the second-leading cause of unintentional injury death for children under 14, according to the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, a branch of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. For every child who drowns, another four receive emergency treatment for near-drowning accidents. Those injuries can include brain damage.
“There’s a lot of deaths, even those little shallow pools,” said Loretta Worters, vice president of the Insurance Information Institute. “Little kids can drown in an inch of water.”
For children 1 to 4 years old, most drownings happen in residential swimming pools.
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