Nothing beats a refreshing swim in a pool on a hot summer day. For a variety of reasons homeowners on Long Island choose to install and maintain pools. Rarely would a child object to having a pool in his or her yard. However, having a pool is not without costs risks. Putting aside the cost of installing and maintaining a pool, having a pool will have an impact on your homeowner’s insurance rates. Over a period of time, this can add up to a substantial amount of money. More significantly could be the impact on your insurance rates is someone gets hurt in your pool. As the owner of the pool, if someone is hurt in your pool, and it can be shown that you were in any way negligent, this could expose you to significant liability.
Successful lawsuits against pool owners have typically involved a scenario of inadequate supervision or lacking safety protections. If you have guests in your pool, especially if the guests are children, it is expected that you will provide a reasonable level of supervision over the activities in your pool. If you leave children alone in your pool, without any supervision, you are exposed in a lawsuit if someone gets hurt. The best way to protect against this situation is to always have an adult, or at least a mature teenager, watching over you pool when kids are swimming.
The other common scenario, inadequate safety protections, is easy rectified by following your local laws. In particular, most local governments require the following:
- A pool alarm;
- A fence around the perimeter of your pool;
- Removal of access ladder, when pool not in use.
More than anything, being a responsible pool owner means using common sense. If you follow local rules and maintain close supervision over swimmers in your pool, you can safely enjoy your pool for years to come.