Get the pool into shape, invite some friends over, chill the drinks, fire up the grill … and check your homeowners insurance? This advice is not as odd as it seems, especially since a swimming pool can bring about some hefty liability claims, not to mention big repair bills. Why not be educated as to what your coverage does and does not cover.

First off, be sure your insurance company knows you have a pool if you do. Not listing it on your homeowners policy will probably result in a denied claim should you file one. Where most people see the focus of great backyard parties, insurers see increased risk. That, of course, is what drives insurance rates.

If you have a homeowners or renters policy, it should cover for bodily injury of someone other than residents of the insured home if they are injured – up to the limits of the policy. The personal liability coverage should cover medical costs for the injured party including emergency room, ambulance charges and follow-up medical visits. You may want to purchase additional liability insurance; maybe up to $300,000 to $500,000.An umbrella liability policy is not a bad thing, either, say for an additional $1 million of liability protection.

Your homeowners insurance policy may cover any personal liability for personal injury to guests or visitors. However it would most likely provide very little coverage for damage to the swimming pool itself. If the pool itself is above average in cost (expensive material, special design, etc.) and/or has special features, such as a waterfall, you may want to consider a special endorsement. You may also wish to consider that most damage to the in-ground pools consists of cracking from ground movement or maintenance type issues to pool equipment, which most likely will not be covered by a standard home insurance policy.

It’s next to impossible to know everything about all of your insurance policies. That’s where you best resource for understanding your various coverages comes in: your insurance professional. Schedule a meeting and talk about the upcoming plans. Make sure you have all the coverage you need. Then rest easy and enjoy your summer.