A backyard can be great place for you, your family and friends to recreate—but can also be full of hazards that can affect your homeowners insurance rates.
So, no matter where you may live in New England, if you have a pool, or regularly host guests at your home, consider talking to your insurance agent about:
Local safety standards and building codes may require a fence of a certain size that has a locked gate, among other pool safety equipment. But even that may not be enough to prevent accidents, with insurers considering a pool a liability risk that costs extra to insure.
Most homeowners policies have a minimum of $100,000 of liability protection, but pool owners may want to increase that to $300,000 to $500,000 by buying extra liability insurance. Pool owners may also consider adding an umbrella liability policy for about $200 to $300 per year to get $1 million of liability protection beyond what they already have on their home.
Pool owners should also have enough insurance to replace an expensive or in-ground pool in case it’s destroyed by a storm or other disaster.
Social Host Liability
Having friends and family over for a backyard barbecue requires being aware of their safety. If they’re drinking too much alcohol and leave your house and get in an accident, you can be liable for it.
Every New England state has some version of a social host liability law that could help a victim determine if you’re at fault in those tragic circumstances. But you can either add extra liability coverage or an umbrella policy if you want to better protect yourself in the event a guest encounters some sort of on site or after party mishap.
If your backyard is dark and shadowy after the sun goes down, you also may want to consider adding adequate lighting around walkways to make it easier for guests to see at night time parties.
If a guest trips in a darkened area, you may be held liable. A claim related to such an event may not require extra insurance, through an umbrella policy may better protect you if you have a lot of assets.