June 27, 2022 UPDATE
Yesterday, a 7-year-old girl drowned in a pool that a homeowner reportedly rented, through Swimply, to a group that allegedly included about 15 children:
Presumably since my initial blog post about Swimply, the company now includes liability insurance of up to $1,000,000 to renters. Limited information about this coverage and some exclusions can be found here:
The question is, how much is the life of a 7-year-old child worth? Quite likely more than a million dollars. As discussed in the original blog post, most homeowners policies do not cover liability for “business” activities and it’s quite possible, perhaps likely, that this exposure would be considered a business activity. Some umbrella policies might provide coverage, but given the prevalence of ‘following form’ policies and the use of business exclusions in umbrella policies, they are unlikely to be reliable sources for coverage.
More likely the best risk management approach to renting out your swimming pool is avoidance…don’t do it.
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This is the advice we constantly give our clients: Don’t!
“I am going to be out of the country for 3 months and would like to rent my car. What should I do?”
“I want to have a graduation party and charge everyone ten bucks to cover the beer. What do you think?”
“I want to charge a colleague for a ride to work.”
“I want to let someone ride my horse, and charge them to cover feed”
“Don’t, don’t, don’t, don’t!” Don’t charge for favors. Don’t accept money when someone borrows your stuff. Don’t charge to let someone use your house, car etc.
Smart customers for asking those questions and smart advice. Don’t assume unnecessary risks you can’t afford.
Can’t imagine losing a child. The Swimply website states their insurance policy is “subject to an aggregate,” do we know what that aggregate amount is? Does it apply per event, per host, per policy period? Are the defense costs inside or outside the limit? Assuming it’s just a million-dollar limit, that could be stretched pretty thin considering how many hosts and events this coverage applies to.
Great questions. I’ve never examined the actual policy. Defense costs would be the big one because you KNOW the pool owner is going to be sued if there is a serious injury or death.