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As homeowners prepare for summer fun, make sure you have the right insurance coverage

5/16/2018 11:02:30 AM

For Immediate Release

SAINT PAUL – As summer approaches, Minnesota homeowners may be installing fun backyard features like swimming pools, hot tubs, trampolines, playsets, treehouses or fire pits.

These amenities are sure to be enjoyable, but they can also unintentionally expose homeowners to more risks. If you add these potentially hazardous features to your property, be sure to review your homeowners insurance policy and talk with your insurance agent about your coverage.

For example, to help reduce the risk of financial loss in case of an accident or injury, you may need a personal “umbrella” policy to supplement your existing homeowners insurance. An umbrella policy helps protect you and your family from major claims and lawsuits by providing additional liability coverage.

The Minnesota Commerce Department and the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) offer these questions you can ask your insurance professional to help you decide what insurance is right for you.

  • Will my current homeowners policy cover these outdoor features?
  • Will my homeowners coverage be more expensive if I add the item to my policy?
  • Do I need a certain kind of fence around my yard if a backyard feature is added?
  • Does my fence have to be self-closing, and do I need self-latching gates?
  • Does my pool or hot tub need to be covered and/or locked when not in use?
  • Do I need to have a pool alarm to alert me if a child falls into the water when adults are not present?
  • Do suction drains in pools or spas have up-to-code curved covers to prevent suction entrapment?
  • Does a fire pit create additional liability?
  • What coverage exclusions or limits does an umbrella insurance policy have?

Also, when you remove any of these higher-risk items from your property, be sure to notify your insurance agent so your coverage can be adjusted accordingly.

Commerce is here to help

If you have a concern or problem with your insurance policy, insurance agent or insurance company, contact the Commerce Department’s Consumer Services Center by email at consumer.protection@state.mn.us or by phone at 651-539-1600 or 800-657-3602 (Greater Minnesota).

Media Contact
Ross Corson
Director of Communications
Minnesota Department of Commerce
p: 651-539-1463 | c: 651-368-5050 | ross.corson@state.mn.us

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