Whether or not you believe in global warming, you still have to admit that our summers are getting pretty hot. One of the best ways to cool off is to jump into a pool. However, that is not always the easiest thing to do for people who live in suburban areas. Public swimming pools and facilities may be far away. I do not own a pool. Not because I didn’t want to own one.
I am no fan of public swimming pools. They are only as clean as the complete strangers that jump in them. According to a recent study, over 51% of Americans use public swimming pools as a bathing alternative. There are also many other stomach-turning statistics in the report for you to consider the next time you jump in a city or state-run pool.
So yeah, owning my own swimming pool would be great, but I just crunched the numbers, and it just seems like more trouble than its worth.
For one thing, I can’t just get a shovel, run into my back yard, and start digging. I knew I would have to file for permits and get inspections from the local building authorities. Still, the biggest obstacle to pool ownership that I couldn’t overcome was cost.
The average cost to build an in-ground is just under $30,000. On-going maintenance costs can top $3,000 a year, or more. Then, you basically have to become a part-time chemist to maintain the pool’s chemistry balance. When you own a pool, you have to clean and chlorinate it on a daily or weekly schedule. What really turned me off pool ownership is the fact that it is basically a liability magnet, especially in pool scarce neighborhoods.
I already have a mortgage and car insurance to worry about. So, paying insurance on my pool, via increased homeowner insurance rates, was the deal breaker.
You may have to pay insurance on your pool, or more likely, increase your homeowner insurance premium depending on the type of pool you own and where you live. If your pool is visible from the road and tempts young children or teens to trespass on your property, then your pool is called an “attractive nuisance,” by insurers. This designation is more likely if you live in a neighborhood that doesn’t have a lot of pools.
If someone trespasses onto your property, gets injured or drowns in your pool, you could be liable. Believe it or not, this is a real insurance liability. If you plan to build an in-ground pool, you should consult your insurer before applying for permits or hiring contractors.
How much you might pay extra in an “attractive nuisance,” premium depends on where you live. If you live in a warm or tropical climate and everyone in the neighborhood has a pool, then it may not be so much of an issue. If you live in a cooler climate or a dryer area where there are not a lot of residential pools, then this insurance clause might be a big issue.
Such coverage might cost as much as $100,000. Or, as high as half a million. Relatively speaking, that might be an extra $75, or more, to an existing coverage package.