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.

1. 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 some cases, the insurer will take into account the decrease in value of the units (depreciation) when calculating the indemnity so the older the units, the lower the potential payment. 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.

2. 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.

3. Make safety a priority

Even if your units are compliant and deemed safe, there is still a risk of drowning. That’s why it’s so important to make proper supervision and responsible habits top priorities. How? By following tips from the Lifesaving Society. In short:

  • Be prepared to react in the event of an emergency.
    Learn first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation. Watch out for signs of drowning: Gaze is upwards, face and eyes look panicky, arms are flailing wildly.
  • Always monitor children under age 12.
    Before swimming, make sure everything you need is within reach: phones, drinks, towels, sunscreen, etc.
    If you’re tasked with watching the kids, don’t do anything else.
    If you need to step away from the pool for a moment, ask the kids to get out of the pool and follow you or ask another adult to watch them.
  • Never enter the pool or hot tub alone.
  • Never enter, or let another person enter, the hot tub when inebriated.
    The water temperature can increase the effect of alcohol or make you sleepy.
  • Remember that using a hot tub is not recommended for some people: Children under five, pregnantwomen and people with high blood pressure or cardiac problems.
  • Don’t leave toys floating in the water and make sure all points of access are securely closed after swimming so children are not tempted to go back in when nobody is watching.

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!

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