Poolside Safety, Insurance & Cool Facts

Posted On Tuesday June 18, 2019

Summer heat may be taking its time arriving this year, but soon, a cool dip in your backyard swimming pool will offer much needed relief! In the meantime, let us get you started on making sure you have a safe summer poolside.

Cool swimming and pool facts

Before we get to the serious stuff, here are some fun facts about swimming and pools:

  • Swimming works out all of the body’s major muscles and helps reduce stress.
  • The oldest form of stroke used is the breaststroke.
  • The fastest and most efficient swim stroke is the crawl/ freestyle.
  • Benjamin Franklin invented swim fins.
  • Swimming first became an Olympic event in 1896.
  • The turbo pump on the Space Shuttle's main engine is powerful enough to drain an average-sized swimming pool in 25 seconds!

Source: Swimmingpool.com

Home insurance and swimming pools

Make sure that your insurance company is aware you have a pool and ask how your policy will protect you from the potential risks so that you can enjoy it without worry. In general, your homeowners insurance covers swimming pools and the associated liability risk as follows:


  • Keep in mind; swimming pools increase the cost to rebuild your home. When adding a pool, contact your agent to amend your building limit to reflect the cost. In Ontario, a pool can cost upwards of $35,000 or more.


  • Your homeowner’s policy includes personal liability insurance. For example, this coverage protects you from paying legal and medical fees in the event someone is hurt while in or around your pool and you are held legally responsible.

Be sure to speak to your agent, about any exclusions or limits.

Pool safety and you

It is important to do everything in your power to ensure people use your pool safely. Following these safety tips is a good start towards keeping your guests safe while enjoying your backyard pool:

Build a fence

  • Construct a fence all the way around your pool, which is at least 1.2 metres high to help prevent drowning accidents.
  • Install a gate that is self-closing and self-latching. The latch should be beyond a child's reach. Keep the gate locked at all times.
  • Keep toys, garden furniture and tools away from the pool fence. Children can climb up on these items to get over the fence and into the pool.
  • Check with your town or city to find out the rules for building a pool fence.
    • Each municipality has its own by-laws when it comes to having a residential swimming pool. For example, the City of London, Swimming Pool Fence By-law PS-5, states, "No person shall construct, or cause to be constructed, a swimming pool without having first obtained a swimming pool fence permit".  Technically speaking, the City of London does not regulate the construction of the pool, but it does regulate and enforce the fences that enclose them.

 Prepare for pool safety or emergencies

  • Keep lifesaving equipment (such as a safety ring with a rope) and a first aid kit near the pool.
  • Keep a life jacket and other safety flotation devices close to the pool so that everyone can have fun and stay safe.
  • Keep emergency phone numbers by the telephone closest to the pool.
  • Install a pool alarm that sounds when it detects an object breaking the surface of the water.
  • Install anti-entrapment drain covers. A vacuum release system for entrapment emergencies will automatically stop suction and shut down the pump.
  • Always remove a cover completely before using the pool, and do not let standing water remain on top; pump it off.

Clean up after pool time

  • After swimming in the pool, make sure you take the time to clean up properly.
  • Put toys away after pool time. Leaving toys in or around the pool can tempt children to go get them and put themselves in danger.
  • Keep a safety cover on your pool when it is not in use.

 Source: Government of Canada

You may have more questions about your pool and insurance

Be sure to speak to your agent, about any exclusions or limits. Possible questions to ask include:

  • Does my homeowners insurance cover pool leaks?
  • Does my homeowners insurance cover pool liners?
  • Does my insurance cover a pool collapse (above or in-ground)?

Answers will depend on your own policy, so it is best to review with your agent or broker.

A home with a pool can mean a lot of wonderful summer fun and memories to last a lifetime. Enjoy!