Know the unusual risks of owning a pool

The yin and yang of summer are a hot, steamy day and the cool, refreshing water of a swimming pool.

Floating languidly at the local swim club or at a friend's house could cause one to desire a pool of his own, but several insurance considerations should come into play before installing an in-ground attractive nuisance.

Property losses

Many of us first think of the liability issues involved with pool ownership, but pools are also subject to some complicated property losses. For example, in Bozek v. Erie Ins. Group, 46 N.E.3d 362 (Ill. App. 2015), the insured's pool heaved out of the ground.

The pool had been emptied to clean debris, and then three and half inches of rain fell. Because the weight of the water in the pool did not exceed the uplift forces of the water pressure in the soil, the pool lifted upward, damaging it beyond repair and taking out the surrounding concrete slab.

The Bozeks had a Homeowners policy with Erie Insurance Group that provided $89,000 in coverage for damage to the pool. However, when the Bozeks presented a claim to the insurer, Erie denied coverage based on the anticoncurrent causation clause in the policy. The insureds alleged that Erie improperly denied coverage. In the Bozeks’ view, the anticoncurrent causation clause dictated that, because a failure of the pressure-relief valve in this instance (a covered event), preceded the increase in hydrostatic pressure (an excluded event), the loss was covered.

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