We’ve written before (The Top 5 Ways to Avoid Dangers of Pools) about what to beware of when a multi-family (4+ units) apartment or condo property, hotel/motel has a pool. And we’re back with additional information about what owners of these properties need to have in place. Pools and spas are nice amenities, but do add additional exposure for property owners.
Lessors Risk Only (LRO) coverage will include Underlying Insurance; Hold Harmless; and Life Safety. Having a pool requires addressing “Other Structures” – coverage that applies to structures permanently attached to the premises, but not to the rental property or apartment building, designed to service the rental property, including fences, decorative fixtures, yards signs, and swimming pools and spas.
Here are some questions you and your client will likely need to address if a property has a spa and/or pool:
- Does the pool/spa have anti-vortex drain covers? Does the pool/spa meet all local ordinance and safety requirements?
- Are pool and spa areas completely fenced in?
- Are all means of ingress/egress to the pool and/or spa area controlled by self-closing doors or self-latching gates?
- Are all doors/gates leading into the pool and/or spa area locked during off hours and/or at night?
- Are there “Swim at Your Own Risk” and “Use at Your Own Risk” signs, posted rules and hours of operation at the pool and/or spa? And in multiple languages, where needed?
- Are water features included with the pool, including diving board/s, slides, tube slides, “lazy river,” or other features?
- Can the pool/spa be accessed directly from any of the apartment or condo complex units?
- What are the finishes around the pool? Surface areas near swimming pools are often soaking wet because people have just gotten out of the pool dripping wet. Walking surfaces around pools should be non-slip, for example, rough granite or slate tiles, rather than polished tiles.
Other causes of very serious injury or death around a pool include:
- Malfunction and overly powerful drain suctions
- Electrical faults causing electrocution
- Lack of or improper depth marking, allowing for a person to unknowingly get into water over his or her head, or dive into water too shallow, causing brain or spinal cord injury.
Whether you’re looking to insure a property with a spa or pool for a client, or just getting ready to enjoy your own summer with family and friends, check out the pool and/or spa with the eye of an insurance professional, and a dose of common sense. Have a great summer!