Summer is here and that means pool parties, cookouts, and watermelon eating contests are underway! There is nothing quite like having a summer cookout and having friends over to play in the pool, enjoy conversation, and soak up the sunshine. While having that amazing deck and pool at your house might make your home the cookout destination spot for your friends this summer…..it can also put you at risk for increased liability exposure. How can you manage your liability risks and still enjoy the summer festivities? I’m glad you asked!

1-) Be sure you have a higher liability policy. “Umbrella” insurance is also known as excess liability insurance. It is designed to help protect you from major claims and lawsuits and, as a result, it helps protect your assets and your future earnings. Umbrella insurance provides additional liability coverage above the limits of your homeowners, auto, and other policies. With risks such as a swimming pool, it is vital to have a higher liability protection policy. Your excess liability, or “Umbrella policy”, protects you from legal liability suits when the underlying liability limits on your home policy have been exhausted. Typically, Umbrella policies protect up to an additional $1 million worth of protection, however, higher coverage amounts are available as well. Having a pool presents a higher liability risk. Injuries that occur on your property can lead to liability law suits. An Umbrella policy isn’t expensive and provides essential asset and liability protection for you and your family.

2-) Swim Safely.  If you have a pool, be sure that it is fully fenced in with a self-locking gate. Make it a rule that children are not allowed to swim alone during pool parties and that an adult must be present to supervise. Alcohol consumption also increases the risk of accidental drowning. If you are having a large pool party of cookout, it may be a good idea to hire a lifeguard for the afternoon to ensure safe swimming.  Most drownings occur with people nearby. Statistics show that most young children who drown in pools have been out of sight for less than five minutes. Planning ahead for your party can greatly reduce your liability exposure.

3-) Keep pool chemicals stored securely. Exposure to pool chemicals can also be an exposure. Be sure to always keep chemicals and pool tools stored away safely away from access. Keep your pool deck clear of clutter to avoid tripping and encourage the kiddos not to run around the pool as slip and falls are a source of common injury. Also, remember to always have a first aid kit nearby.

4-) Home Insurance Tips. If you have a pool, there are some common tips to decrease your liability exposure and help keep your home insurance lower. First, be sure to have a self-latching gate surrounding your pool/yard. The goal behind this is to make it harder for someone to stumble into the pool or to accidentally leave a gate open. Let your insurance provider know the pool is fully fenced with a self-locking gate. Second, diving boards and diving rocks are fun……but insurance is more concerned with safety than you perfecting your diving skills. Statistically, diving boards cause more accidents. If you have a diving board, make sure it has the traction strips so it’s not slippery.

Following these tips can help keep your summer fun and accident-free! Here’s wishing you a summer full of sunshine, smiles, and awesome memories!

All The Best,

Kelley Carter, CPIA

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The Choice Insurance Agency’s mission is to help you get from where you are to where you want to be financially by planning, achieving your plan and protecting your plan from unexpected events.  In the process, our goal is to deliver insurance services in a manner that exceeds your expectations.  See what The Choice Insurance Agency can do for you today. Give us a call at 757-416-5100 to speak with one of the licensed, professional members of our team or request a contact here. The Choice Insurance Agency. We’re on YOUR side. 757-416-5100 .