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    Personal Insurance Blog

    Pool Laws and Insurance

    Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

    Tue, Aug 19, 2014 @ 11:15 AM

    Insure your pool with a personal umbrella liability homeowners policy from Andrew G Gordon IncDo you already have a swimming pool, or are you thinking about getting one? Make sure you're aware of the laws and risks that come with pools. Abiding by the state laws for private pools not only protects the lives of those using the pool, but also ensures that you avoid fines from your homeowners insurance company or the Massachusetts State Board of Building Regulations. 

    Pools must be surrounded by a fence four feet or taller, with a self-closing gate. Doors from your house leading to the pool must be alarmed. Swimming pools must be at least 20 feet away from the borders of the property lot, and they shouldn't be near your septic tank. 

    Did you know that even inflatable pools you buy from Wal-Mart need a building and electrical permit (if they hold 24 or more inches of water in height)? You and your kids should have your outdoor fun, but be careful and contact your city or town hall. 

    To save on your energy bill for your pool, get a solar cover to heat the pool for free and prevent evaporation. Keep your filters clean so that the pool runs smoothly.

    Insure your pool by increasing your liability and home insurance. Pools count as "other structures" under your home insurance policy, which are typically given 10% of coverage for the amount written for your home (if your homeowner's policy is $150,000, then your other structures are covered with $15,000. If this isn't enough, increase it with your home insurance agent). 

    Contact us with any questions about your homeowner's insurance or for a personal umbrella policy quote. Read some more about swimming pool laws and insurance at insureme.com and coverhound.com (thanks to them for supplying much of the information in this article). Have a safe and happy summer!

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    Tags: home, insurance, laws, massachusetts, homeowners, pool, swimming, personal umbrella

    Liability Issues: Safety Around Your Home

    Posted by Donna Bellavance

    Wed, Apr 25, 2012 @ 05:52 PM

    Liability issues and claims are proving to be more costly than actual physical damage losses under homeowners insurance policies. 

    Be aware of the many hazards your home may have with personal and homeowners from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MAAccording to the Center for Disease Control there are 4.7 million dog bites each year, and 50% occur on the residence premises. According to the Insurance Information Institute, dog bites or dog-related injuries account for approximately 1/3 of all homeowner liability claims, and the average cost is more than $37,000. Carriers often decline writing coverage if there are particular breeds within the household, such as Bull Dogs, Pitbulls, German Shepherds, Akitas, Rottweilers, Doberman Pinschers, Siberian Huskies, and others that may exhibit aggressive behavior or have previously had a biting history.  Some companies may accept such a breed if they are provided evidence of the dog’s participation in an obedience training course.

    Another major issue of concern for homeowner carriers are swimming pools, since drowning is the leading cause of fatal injury to children between the ages of 1 and 4. Homeowners are required to comply with local regulations regarding the pool such as fencing and locked gates.  It is also worthwhile to note that homeowners can be held liable for injuries to strangers using their pool without permission.

    Trampolines account for over 100,000 emergency room visits per year according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission. Companies can refuse to provide coverage for homes that have trampolines on the premises or may place exclusion clauses or require safety measures, such as nets surrounding the apparatus.

    trampoline pic

     
    The National Safety Council has reported that falls account for 26% of injuries and deaths in the home. Approximately 2.8 million children were treated in the emergency room last year for fall injuries. Tree houses have been the cause for many of these injuries due to the height of these structures, so carriers may exclude or decline coverage, or apply a surcharge for these risks. 


    Homes with guns on the premises increase the risk of homicide by 40% according to the New England Journal of Medicine. Insurance companies require that guns remain properly secured with safety locks and kept out of the reach of children.

    Heating fires account for approximately 36% of home fires. Since many insurance customers use wood stoves as a secondary source of heat, companies now require proof that these were properly installed, adhere to town building codes, and have been inspected.

    Other causes of potential declination of coverage are the presence of zip-lines and exotic pets at the home.

    Homeowners (and renters!) should make it a point to discuss with their agents if any of the above situations apply to them. It is not worth jeopardizing coverage or having a liability claim denied if the carrier was never made aware of all exposures. To discuss your own liability safety, call a Gordon Atlantic Insurance professional toll free at 1-800-649-3252. Prefer to type versus talk? Click below!

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    Tags: home, dog, fall, safety, homeowners insurance, insurance, massachusetts, liability, animals, trampoline, pool, agent, tree house, gun, fire places, wood stove, zip line, swimming, bite

    Spring Risks & Safety Tips

    Posted by Donna Bellavance

    Mon, Apr 02, 2012 @ 05:18 PM

    Keep your kids safe from backyard accidents with homeowners from Andrew Gordon Inc Insurance Norwell MA

    With spring right around the corner and outdoor activities on the rise, it is important that homeowners be aware of the potential for backyard accidents to occur.  Keeping in mind the millions of people that are injured annually in household mishaps, below is a list of recommendations pertaining to equipment utilized daily by all of us. Keep these tips in mind when enjoying the warmer weather:

    Ladders

    Whether cleaning the gutters or doing some painting touch-ups, make sure the ladder base is not too close to the supporting object; the ladder’s stability will be compromised. Most ladder injuries occur from overreaching or standing on a rung that’s too high, so if it’s out of reach, reposition the ladder and try again.

    Grills

    Although it seems unlikely that anything unpleasant could come from a device that gives us hot dogs, remember that a grill is a fire hazard that should be kept at least 3 feet from the house. Smokey the Bear, a fire and woodland damage consultant for A. G. Gordon, would also suggest that you NEVER leave your grill unattended.

    Lawn Mowers

    Before you begin the time-honored battle of nature vs. machine known to most as “mowing the lawn”, take a walk around your yard and clear any debris. Lawn ornaments deep in the recesses of unkempt grass are a lot less cute when they are ejected from a lawnmower at dangerous speeds. Some other good practices include: shutting the lawnmower off when reaching down anywhere near the ground and keeping children away while mowing.

    Playground Sets

    Monitor children at all times. Make sure equipment is not too high for their ages. The rule of thumb: no higher than 6 feet for ages under 5, 8 feet for school age children.

    Trampolines

    Do not let the trampoline become overcrowded. Trampolines have weight limits, and any activity where one has to avoid the flying bodies of others is generally a hazardous environment for kids. Somersaults and tricks should be discouraged, especially with other children on the trampoline.

    Pools

    If you have a gate, make sure it’s locked when the pool isn’t in use. NEVER let young kids go in the pool unattended.

    Pets (not equipment, but still important)

    Watch out for dangers from the pesticides and fertilizers used in yards and gardens as well as being poisoned by eating certain plants, such as oleander, azaleas, and lilies.

    After your spring activities, check us out at www.agordon.com. We have excellent insurance resources like our whiteboard videos if you’re in the market, or even if you’re just curious. Learn more about homeowners insurance here

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    Donna Bellavance

    Tags: house, home, children, grill, outdoors, safety, games, ladders, playground, gardening, life, insurance, shopping, homeowners, trampoline, spring, tips, activities, lawn, mower, pool

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