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Summer swimming pool safety and homeowners insurance in Lutherville Timonium MDRegardless of our swimming abilities, many of us beat the heat in our backyard swimming pool as summer temperatures soar.  It seems that taking advantage of a residential swimming pool is more popular than ever before. In fact,  over seven million swimming pools and five million hot tubs are estimated to be in residential or public use in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). But all swimming pools – from the simplest inflatable wading pool to the most elaborate luxury in-ground variety – can present a danger, especially to children. Between 2005 and 2014, fatal, unintentional drownings in the U.S. averaged over 3500 annually. More than one out of five drowning victims was reported to be 14 years old or under.

The following safety rules will prevent accidents and decrease your potential liability exposure:

  • Empty wading pools completely after each use, and always store them upside-down to avoid collection of rain water. 
  • Install a fence at least 4 feet high around the entire pool area with a gate that latches and locks.  Never leave furniture or other items close enough to the fence to allow children to climb over.  Pool alarms and safety covers add extra protection. 
  • The powerful suction of a swimming pool drain can trap a child under water.  Cover your pool drain with a safety guard, tie up long hair before swimming, and teach children to stay away from drains and filters.  In particular, teach them never to sit on a pool drain. 
  • Post emergency numbers and CPR instructions in the pool area. Store a first aid kit, a cordless water-resistant phone, reaching poles and ring buoys near the pool area to be used in case of emergency; and do not allow children to play with these items. 
  • Consider having older teens and adults take a course in basic first aid and CPR, and enroll your family’s non-swimmers in swimming lessons with a certified instructor.  Anyone who is not a good swimmer should wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved life vest while in your pool. 
  • Adults should not swim alone, and children should never swim without an adult present and watching them constantly. 
  • Keep the pool area clear of glass items, electrical devices (radios, CD players, etc.), and obstacles that could cause a fall or other injury.

Homeowners Insurance and Pool Liability Issues

If you are planning to install a pool at your residence, it is important to consider the insurance implications as well as the safety issues.  The Insurance Information Institute recommends the following:

  • Installing a pool will also increase your insurance liability risk.  So contact your insurance agent to be sure your homeowners policy provides enough additional liability coverage.  If your pool will be costly, this may mean you will have to increase your homeowners insurance coverage and perhaps add umbrella insurance to provide extra liability above what your homeowners policy provides for your home. Of course, your home insurance must also cover the cost of replacing your pool and any pool-related items like deck furniture, should a storm or other disaster destroy or damage it. 
  • Contact your town or municipality since the definition of a pool which drives local building codes and safety standards will vary from town to town. You will want to have this information before you purchase the pool. 

Here at our Lutherville / Timonium, MD agency, our highly experienced William M. Sparks Insurance agents are always glad to speak with you about any insurance needs. Before you decide on a pool for your backyard, you owe it to yourself to contact us to be sure you have optimum insurance coverage. We can answer your questions, refer you to other resources, offer a no-obligation policy review and discuss your options.

Sunday, 23 June 2019 17:41

Where and how you buy your insurance policy matters more than you might think.  If you do it wrong, the safety of your family, home, car or even your business can be at risk.  So it pays to be cautious as you consider your buying options.

Nowadays, we have all come to expect instant answers and quick results.  Online shopping feeds our need for speed.  It encourages us to often accept a product that actually costs more than it needs to and provides less service and benefits than we could have had.  Often, by the time we realize our mistake, it is too late to correct it. 

Purchasing insurance is no exception. A few minutes online and you can receive instant quotes and instant applications from almost any insurance company. If you dodge that bullet, you might still be persuaded by an insurance company's exclusive representative to accept a policy without researching other companies and comparing rates and coverages before you sign on the dotted line.  If you have no insurance background, you will want to find an independent agent in your local area who will be glad to assist you, comparing rates and coverages from a number of insurance companies to find the right fit for you.

Online Instant Insurance Quotes: You're On Your Own

You can fill out online insurance applications and get insurance quotes anytime around the clock.  But you are on your own.  The insurance company behind the online application makes it easy and quick to use, but there is hardly ever any professional advice or attention to your circumstances. So do you really know what you’re getting?  Unless you have a background in insurance and know a rider from an exclusion and a deductible from a co-pay, you could be making a very important decision without having all the facts.

“Captive” Insurance Agent: No Rate & Coverge Comparison

Some insurance agents are under exclusive contract with only one insurance carrier.  The insurance policies they can offer from that company might very well not be the best that is available for your particular needs and might not offer the best prices available. They are not in a position to help you compare rates and coverages with those of other companies to arrive at the best policy for your own needs.

Independent Insurance Agents: They Work for YOU

  • An independent agent typically has a comprehensive knowledge of the insurance industry and has excellent relationships with many insurance carriers including large companies.
  • They will get to know your needs and then research these companies’ offerings to find you the best combination of coverage and price.
  • An independent insurance agent will develop a relationship with you and provide on-going service.
  • An independent agent is your consultant and advisor, answering your questions and helping you explore all the options.
  • Independent agents will periodically review your insurance coverages to keep up with your needs and let you know when coverage changes will benefit you.
  • Typically, independent agents offer a wide range of personal and commercial insurance products and programs, including home, condo, renters, auto, life, business and more. They can offer you a variety of insurance options.
  • So your independent insurance agent becomes the person who knows you, your family, your community and your needs and serves you and not the insurance company.

Isn’t it time to sit down with your local independent agent to review your coverages?  If you are new to the William M. Sparks Insurance Agency here in Timonium, MD, then we hope you will browse our website and get to know us. In particular, check out the many Insurance Carriers with which we have relationships.  We will be glad to welcome you to our “family” of  satisfied policyholders throughout the State of Maryland. Just contact us today.  We are only a phone call or e-mail away.

Saturday, 16 October 2010 17:03

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