Summertime was made for fun-from beach vacations to family barbecues, road trips, and dips in the pool. But unfortunately, sometimes during all that fun, there’s a mishap or two….

Make sure that your home and property are fully protected in case anything happens. Use this guide as a reference on how to insure yourself and your family for summer fun.


Swimming Pools

Your swimming pool is probably covered under your homeowner’s policy. That being said, you’ll want to make sure that you have enough to cover the following situations.

  • Injury or drowning

If someone is hurt or drowns in your pool, you are responsible. It doesn’t matter whether or not you gave them permission to swim. Your personal liability coverage is designed to cover these instances. Typical homeowner’s policies carry $100,000 of liability protection. If you have a swimming pool, you need considerably more. Experts suggest either increasing your personal liability (with the maximum being $500,000 or $1,000,000 depending upon the state) or adding a personal umbrella policy. Umbrella policies start at $1,000,000 in coverage. In addition, take steps to prevent these tragedies by securing your pool with a fence and self-latching gates. Make sure children never swim unattended. Install alarms that alert you if someone is entering the water.

Pro Tip: Make sure your pool meets the local municipal code. We’ve seen some insurance companies refuse to pay if the pool is not up to code.

  • Tree falls into your pool

Summer storms can be intense, and could cause your tree to fall on your house or into your in-ground pool. If a tree falls into your pool, your homeowner’s insurance could cover a reasonable expense to remove it if it was felled by a covered peril and if it struck a covered structure (like your pool) and damaged it. No more than $500 will be paid for any one tree and no more than $1,000 total for any one claim.



Trampolines and Swing Sets

Trampolines and swing sets are considered attractive nuisances, places on your property that can attract children but also put them in danger. (Swimming pools are, too.) You will need to safeguard them, such as by making sure they are in a fenced area.

  • Trampolines

Trampoline injuries or deaths are covered under your personal liability insurance as part of your homeowner’s policy. Check with your insurance agent to see if you have enough coverage for a trampoline accident. Also, check to see whether there are any individual limits to that coverage. Protect against these accidents by installing an enclosure to secure the trampoline so there are no unsupervised guests. Always supervise children while they are using the trampoline and enforce the rule that only one person uses it at a time.

  • Swing Sets

Swing set accidents also are covered by personal liability. Make sure your homeowner’s policy has adequate coverage. Supervise children whenever they are using the swing set. Inspect your set regularly and cover sharp corners or protruding nails that could cause injury. Check that there is a minimum of 22 inches between swings and that the slide is no longer than 10 feet. Also, make sure there’s at least 10 feet of clearance around the swing set.



Dog Bites

Dogs spend time outside with us in the summer. Sometimes that can lead to circumstances where dogs can bite. If your dog bites a third party, you are responsible. Liability coverage protects you in this instance. It pays for the bite victim’s medical expenses and covers your legal fees if they sue you.

    • Make sure that your dog’s breed is not restricted by your insurance policy. Some policies will not cover breeds such as Pit Bulls, Doberman Pinschers, or Rottweilers. California Casualty does not currently have such restrictions.

    • If your dog is a victim of a bite, pet insurance can help cover that emergency vet visit. You also may be able to be reimbursed by the other dog owner’s liability coverage.


BBQ Grill Fires

Backyard barbecues are a favorite summertime activity. We may not think about them being dangerous, but they can be. Practice summertime fire safety. Keep your grill away from the house and any other structures. Store your charcoal or propane safely and away from the heat. Keep a fire extinguisher handy. Always supervise young children when around a grill.

    • If a grill fire spreads to your home or property, and causes costly damage, your homeowner’s policy will likely cover repairs, minus the deductible.

    • If a guest is injured by a fire on your property, and you are legally responsible for that bodily injury, your liability insurance will cover that person’s medical expenses. If you are not liable, but your guest was injured through his/her own fault, then Coverage F – Medical Payment to Others may cover your guest’s medical bills.



Boats and Personal Water Craft

Small boats like kayaks and canoes may be covered under your homeowner’s policy as personal property. If you have a boat, you will need a separate boat insurance policy. You also need one for personal watercraft such as jet skis.

  • Boats – The costs of insurance will vary depending on the value of your boat and where you keep it. For a California Casualty property contract, the policy will cover up to $1,500 for boats and a trailer for 16 named perils but not for theft away from the residence.
    • If you’re transporting your boat on a car trailer, your auto insurance will likely cover any accidents.
      o If you are at fault for a car accident, your auto liability will extend coverage but there will be no physical damage coverage for the boat or trailer.
    • If you want physical damage coverage for the trailer, it needs to be added to the auto policy. If you want physical damage coverage for the boat, it needs to be included on the boat policy.
    • If your boat is parked at your house and is damaged, your homeowner’s insurance may cover it. Otherwise, your boat policy will cover accidents on the water.


  • Personal Watercraft – Your jet ski or other personal watercraft will need its own policy to protect you from vandalism, accidents, and liability for injuries to people riding your personal watercraft. This type of policy is available through the Agency Services division of California Casualty.



Rental Car Accidents

If you’re heading on vacation this summer, you might be driving a rental car. Your own auto insurance may cover a rental car, minus your deductible, or the credit card that you used to book the car may come with insurance. If not, you will want to make sure that you are covered by purchasing rental insurance through the rental car company. Here’s what you will need to think about.

  • Collision Damage or Loss Damage Waiver – Optional in many states, this type of coverage pays for the rental car if it is damaged or stolen. There usually is a deductible, for which you’re responsible. If your auto policy covers collision damage, make sure that it also covers “loss of use.” For a rental company, getting a car repaired in the shop means it loses the income it could be getting from renting the car. The rental company can charge you the daily rental rate for each day the vehicle is out of service.


  • Personal Accident Insurance – This optional policy covers you, the driver, in the event of an accident, including ambulance transportation and medical bills.


  • Supplemental/Additional Liability Insurance – This optional policy covers the other driver and passengers whom you may injure in an accident. It also covers any property damage. You likely have liability on your own auto policy. Check to make sure the liability limit is enough. You can purchase supplemental liability insurance with the rental car company or get an umbrella policy from your current insurer.


  • Personal Effects Coverage – This optional policy covers your possessions if they are damaged, lost, or stolen, something your homeowner or renter’s policy may already cover.


Have a great, fun-filled summer!


This article is furnished by California Casualty, providing auto and home insurance to educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. Get a quote at 1.866.704.8614 or

California Casualty

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