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There's no doubt about it, swimming pools are fun and can create great memories.  But with that fun comes an added risk and responsibility.  If you have a swimming pool or even a hot tub, you should know how it affects your homeowners insurance.

If the unfortunate happens and you have an accident, or worse, a death, because of your swimming pool, you most likely could be facing a lawsuit.  If so, there's a good chance your standard homeowners insurance policy won't be enough to protect you.

The good news is there are steps you can take to ensure you have adequate homeowners insurance.  But first, let's touch on a few safety precautions to help avoid accidents in the first place.

There are some basic safety measures that can help minimize the risk of swimming pool or hot tub accidents on your property:

• Keep your swimming pool or hot tub fenced off with a locked gate or door.
• When not in use, keep your swimming pool or hot tub covered.
• Never leave children along; always have an adult, who can swim, supervise.
• Have a phone readily available in case an accident occurs.
• Have safety poles and life preservers close to the swimming pool.
• Know CPR.

Even though you have taken all the precautions you can to prevent injuries and accidents, there is still a risk of the unfortunate happening.  In the blink of an eye a child can run, slip, fall and break a leg.  Or perhaps they run, slip, fall, hit their head and drown.  While most people won't want to sue, they often have no choice.  They need to cover their expenses.

So, how can you protect yourself?  Know your homeowners insurance policy, what it provides, and does not provide.  You may want to pay particular attention to your liability coverage - the type of your homeowners insurance that covers legal costs when it comes to injuries to othesr or their property.

Increase your Liability Coverage - Standard homeowners insurance may not have enough liability coverage to protect you.  Policies have different limits, sometimes $100,000, $300,000 or even $500,000.  Check to see what you have and consider increasing it to the most you can get.

Consider an Umbrella Policy - An umbrella insurance policy adds an extra layer of protection, often worth $1 million or more, above the liability coverage limit in your homeowners insurance.

Let's see you these would work together.  Imagine your friend gets hurt while using your swimming pool, has several medical bills, and sues you for damages.  The liability coverage in your homeowners insurance, say $300,000, will kick in.  If  your expenses exceed $300,000, your umbrella goes into effect, covering an additional $1 million in costs for your total coverage of $1,300,000.

There are many risks with owing a swimming pool or hot tub.  But that doesn't mean you shouldn't own one.  You can minimize your risk  by taking the right precautions and have the right protection.  Examining your homeowners insurance to determine the amount of coverage is a great start.

As your independent insurance agency, Bramlett can help you understand the coverage that is right for  your and your pool.  Contact us for more information, (580) 223-7300.
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