TRENTON – The Professional Insurance Agents of New Jersey Inc. are taking advantage of the seasonal heat to remind homeowners to make sure they practice pool safety, including the necessity of having adequate insurance coverage.
Sadly, according to the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, more than 250 children under the age of five, drown each year in residential swimming pools and spas. The Commission estimates that another 3,000 children younger than five are treated in hospital emergency rooms following pool accidents each year.
“Pool owners should be aware that they could be sued in the event of an accident,” says Anthony Bavaro, CIC, CRM, PIANJ president. “To protect yourself, check to make sure the limits of your homeowners policy are adequate. If you are involved in a lawsuit and the court awards a settlement higher than your limits, you will be held responsible for the balance. To protect against catastrophic losses, the purchase of an umbrella or excess liability policy should be considered.”
PIANJ offers the following safety suggestions for pool owners:
- Never leave a child unsupervised near a pool. If you have babysitters, be sure they know about potential hazards to young children in and around swimming pools and the need for constant supervision.
- Install self-closing and self-latching gates. Be sure to position latches out of reach of young children.
- Never use flotation devices as a substitute for supervision.
- Never use a pool with its pool cover partially in place. It would be very easy for a child to get trapped under it. Remove it completely.
- Learn CPR.
“The most tragic accident is the one that easily could have been prevented,” said Bavaro. “By observing pool safety guidelines, we can help reduce the incidence of swimming accidents and keep our families safe.”
PIANJ is a trade association representing professional, independent insurance agencies, brokerages and their employees throughout the state.