Pool and Hot Tub Safety in Ontario

Published On: May 17th, 2021Categories: Personal Insurance, Risk Management

The stay-at-home orders of the pandemic have prompted many Ontario homeowners to install a new pool or hot tub.

This article will be outlining some installation regulations, safety tips, and things to remember regarding insuring your new backyard paradise.  

Installing your Pool According to Code 

The initial question you must ask when installing your new pool or hot tub is, ‘does this project meet all provincial and municipal requirements?’. To check, review your provincial and municipal swimming pool safety regulations online, which differ significantly between various townships (for example, here are the Pool Safety guidelines for Oshawa, Whitby, and Toronto). These rules aim to control pool access and reduce the risk of accidents. Some of these rules include installation requirements for pool enclosures, ladders, and safety devices, as well as the minimum distance from other objects located in your yard. Typically, the municipal regulations are even stricter than the provincial ones – so reviewing them closely is imperative.

Some standard rules that generally stretch across the board throughout Ontario are as follows:  

  • Must ensure strict control over pool access
  • Hot tubs must have a hardcover equipped with a safety lock 
  • To prevent anyone from climbing over, access to enclosures, water filters, or water heaters must be secured 
  • To do any building, installations, or repairs to a pool in your yard, you must obtain a permit from your municipal government (this is also true for certain types of hot tubs – ensure you double-check this, as this may apply to you)  

Insuring your Pool or Hot Tub 

Most homeowner’s insurance protects you against certain types of damage caused by a pool or hot tub, such as your house flooding due to water discharge from the pool. However, not all damage caused by your pool/hot tub is automatically covered, and you may want to consider adding these additional items to your policy to ensure protection: 

  • Your swimming pool or hot tub itself 
  • Any pool or hot tub equipment – primarily if it is used to ensure water quality 
  • Patios or decks that have direct access to your pool/hot tub 
  • Any paved areas surrounding your pool/hot tub 
  • Water heating equipment for your pool/hot tub 
  • Labour costs for replacing/repairing your pool or hot tub 

It is essential to consult with your broker about what coverages are found on your policy, as some policies will automatically cover these things. Still, many will require an endorsement (an additional alteration to the policy) to procure coverage.  

Using the Pool Safely 

  Practicing safety in and around the pool is so incredibly important to prevent any accidents. Keep the following tips in mind this coming summer: 

  • Children should never be left unattended while swimming or playing near the pool (even if they know how to swim) 
  • When supervising children while they swim or play near the pool, ensure you are not distracted by anything (e.g., your phone, barbequing, etc.) 
  • If your kids don’t know how to swim, consider private lessons in your home pool. Doing so will strengthen their skills in the water and get them more comfortable in the pool they will be swimming in most often. 
  • Keep life jackets and buoys accessible for anyone who uses the pool 
  • Consider installing Immersion Alarms. These devices alert owners when there is an unexpected breach or intrusion in the swimming pool – the alarm is triggered by waves from a human or animal falling into the water. (Keep in mind these are a great resource but do not replace adult supervision)  
  • Put all floating accessories and pool toys away after everyone is out of the water. Doing so helps prevent kids from being tempted to lean over and reach for them and potentially fall into the pool 

Reach out to your Bryson Insurance broker to review your coverages regarding your pool/hot tub to ensure you and your family have the protection you need for this upcoming summer season! 

Bring on the summer fun! 

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