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A technician from Patriot Pool & Spa services a pool in Austin, Texas. Photo: Patriot Pool & Spa

Know What You’re Getting

Three questions to answer before getting liability insurance

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As a pool service and repair professional, having a general liability policy is important to protect yourself and your clients. General liability insurance is insurance protection for third-party property damage or personal/advertising injuries allegedly caused by the business owner or an employee.

Most third parties that require a pool professional to have a general liability policy are looking for a $2 million aggregate coverage limit. For this reason, typically in the pool and spa industry, most pool professionals who are insured carry a policy with a $2 million to $3 million aggregate limit, $1 million per occurrence. The general aggregate limit of liability refers to the most money an insurer can pay to a policy holder during a specified period. Per occurrence is the maximum amount the insurer pays for all claims resulting from a single occurrence, no matter how many people are injured, how much property is damaged or how many different claimants may make claims.

There are a few things I recommend pool professionals to be aware of when searching for a general liability insurance policy:

1. Is the policy a shared policy with a shared limit or a per policy individual limit?

A shared limit means you and other insureds share an aggregate limit of liability. If there are several claims in one year, the shared aggregate limit could potentially be depleted. An individual limit means each individual policyholder has their own aggregate limit. 

2. Is the policy underwritten by an A-rated carrier? 

You should consider an insurance carrier’s financial rating before purchasing coverage, as it indicates its ability to pay claims and describes how financially stable it is.

3. Is the policy geared toward your business?

As a pool professional, you should have coverage for things like pool overflows, pool pop-ups and hazmat coverage for chemical spills. Find out if the policy will cover these sorts of claims. Also, if you are a repair-only business, see if your policy covers repairs only. In some cases, 100% repair work is excluded.

Many people think that if they purchase a policy, they are covered. Knowing the policy exclusions is important. Some policies may not cover things like acid-wash damage. If your business is doing acid washes, this would be necessary coverage. 

A general liability policy does not cover pool building or remodel; as a pool builder, it isn’t wise idea to purchase a policy that only covers service and repair professionals just to save a few bucks. In the event of a claim, there will be no coverage. 

Be aware of what you are purchasing. Do your due diligence and obtain correct coverage.

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