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Swimming pools and hot tubs: 3 golden rules to make sure everyone can enjoy the water safely

Nothing better than a dip to cool off or relax! Have you invested time and money in a pool or hot tub and wish to enjoy it to the fullest? To avoid accidents and damages, follow these tips taken from the La Capitale blog.

Have your pool or hot tub adequately insured

To make sure your outdoor pool or hot tub is covered in the event of damage, you must add coverage to your home insurance. With additional coverage, you'd be entitled to financial assistance for any damage to your pool caused by the weight of snow or ice during winter.

Coverages are based on the different types of installation, and typically cover:

  • Your pool or hot tub
  • The equipment used to maintain, treat and heat the water
  • The patio or deck attached to your unit
  • The labour costs required to replace your pool or hot tub in the event of a loss

To get adequate coverage, follow these three tips:

  1. Notify your insurer if you have a pool or hot tub, or if you plan to have one installed when you insure the home for the first time. If the insurer is not notified before the loss occurs, you won’t be compensated.
  2. Inform your insurer about all your equipment for the maintenance, heating or use of your pool or hot tub.
  3. Verify the indemnity calculation method in the event of a loss, which varies from one insurer to the next. In certain cases, the insurer may take into account the decrease in value of the units (depreciation) when calculating the indemnity. Therefore, the older the equipment, the lower the potential indemnity. For example, if your pool liner is over 10 years old, the indemnity amount in the event of a loss may be limited to 25% of the value of a new pool.

Good to know: Certain insurers, such as La Capitale, do not take the depreciation into account when an in-ground pool needs to be replaced following a loss, nor in calculating the portion of the indemnity that covers the labour costs required for the repair or replacement of the unit.

Do you have an inflatable pool or hot tub?

No need for additional coverage! These temporary units are covered under your home insurance.

Get the season off on the right foot

Timing when to open your swimming pool or hot tub is crucial if you want to avoid unpleasant surprises. Here are a few important tips to make your first day a success!

  • Open the pool in May or before the water has time to warm up. The water temperature should be under the 21°C (70°F) mark so that it is easier to treat and maintain the proper chemical balance.
  • Examine your pool or hot tub, along with the components and accessories. Look for any signs of wear and tear: leaks, cracks or any other breakage.
  • Repair or replace defective or broken parts before opening your swimming pool or hot tub.
  • Remove the debris that accumulated over the winter.
  • Empty the antifreeze that you poured in the pipes in the fall.
  • Adjust the water’s alkalinity, pH and calcium hardness levels until the water reaches the desired chemical balance and temperature

Comply with mandatory security measures

Despite prevention efforts, many drownings still occur in residential swimming pools and hot tubs. That's why Quebec laws include a number of measures to maximize the safety of these units. You must therefore:

  • Obtain a municipal permit to build, install or replace a swimming pool or a construction allowing or preventing access to a swimming pool.
  • Block access to the pool with a fence equipped with an automatic closing and locking system. The fence must measure at least 1.2 m in height, and the spacing between pickets should be less than 10 cm. OR Block access to the hot tub with a hard cover equipped with a lock.
  • Install a ladder or stairs for in-ground and semi-inground pools.
  • Always keep a life jacket or buoy within reach of swimmers.
  • Make sure equipment such as pumps or filters cannot be accessed. They should be more than 1 m away from the pool or fence, inside the fenced area or under the patio.

Lastly, even when your units are compliant and deemed safe, there is still a risk of drowning. Make proper supervision and responsible habits top priorities. Follow the tips from the Lifesaving Society.

Take advantage of the partnership with La Capitale!

If you're a DuProprio buyer or seller, ask La Capitale General Insurance for a home, auto or leisure vehicle insurance quote to take advantage of the benefits of our partnership!