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Why Diving Boards Are Becoming a Thing of the Past May 30, 2017

Freehold, Monmouth County
Why Diving Boards Are Becoming a Thing of the Past, Freehold, New Jersey

The significant amount of risk associated with diving boards is making them less common.

 Spending the day at the pool is one of the most popular summer activities for people of any age. Almost everyone can recall going to the “friend-with-a-pool’s” house over summer break to cool off on those hot days.

While going to a friend’s house to swim seemed innocent enough, most do not think about the liability and responsibility associated with owning a pool. The risk is often overlooked, and most do not recognize that homeowners have a legal responsibility to prevent dangers for visitors on the property, including those using the pool.

Swimming pools can pose a variety of hazards, such as slipping on the pool deck. But perhaps one of the biggest risks at the pool can be the diving board, which can cause severe injury and even death. According to a study by Columbus, an Ohio-based national children’s hospital, more than 6,500 children and teens are treated for diving related injuries every year, and the leading cause is collision with a diving board or diving platform.

More than a decade ago, approximately 90% of all in-ground swimming pools had a diving board, but today they are becoming less and less common. The information below tells why diving boards, a high insurance risk, are going by the wayside. 

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1. Safety

Perhaps the most obvious reason that diving boards have become less popular in recent years is the fact that they can be dangerous and cause many accidents.

When a family puts in a pool, the intent is usually to create a relaxing recreational space to enjoy the summer. The added stress of the dangers of a diving board can disrupt the tranquility that the pool should provide, as parents and pool owners may be on-edge while supervising swimming on their property.

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2. Not Enough Space

The safest way to have a diving pool is to ensure that it extends a safe length, which is between 38 and 39 feet long, as the slope in the middle of the pool needs to be far away from the board to prevent injury from hitting the bottom.

This length does not satisfy the needs of many pool owners today. In many cases, today's pools tend to be 35 feet long or less, as lot sizes no longer allow for larger pools.

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3. Insurance

In many cases, homeowners’ insurance premiums go up with the addition of a diving board to a swimming pool. While the percentages vary depending on the policy, pool owners with diving boards are likely to feel an increase in their insurance rate.

At the same time, some homeowners’ insurance will not even cover diving board related accidents because of the extreme intrinsic danger associated with diving boards.

While it is possible to purchase a rider to cover the diving board, the insurer may not even allow it. Insurance companies often will not cover liability risks from diving boards or pool slides, and the diving board alone may disqualify the home for a policy from some carriers.

Pool owners without a diving board, however, will experience little (or no) change in their rates after putting in an in-ground swimming pool.

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4. Rigidity

While diving boards used to be incredibly springy, the diving boards produced today are much stiffer and more rigid. Why? Because many manufacturers are scared of lawsuits related to the spring of their diving boards and, as a result, aren't making them with as much bounce as they used to.

Because these boards are not as springy (and inevitably less fun), they have lost much of their novelty value.

NorthEast Insurance Services represents several home insurance carriers that write policies for NJ homes with a diving board at no additional cost to the homeowner. For questions regarding insurance for your property contact Diane Fox at 800.290.8120 x1108.

Story by Hannah Bender, PropertyCasualty360.com

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