This may be the wrong forum but wasn't sure where else to put it. This will be part vent, part questions.
I live in a state that does not require a fence for a private pool. Because I live in the county, I am not required by any local ordinance for any fencing. However, so far, EVERY insurance company says I must have a fence.
I am sure I am going to get a lot of backlash over the whole, "Why wouldn't you put up a fence when a pool can be so dangerous?" I live in a very rural, very secluded area. I am surrounded by pasture (my own) and woods. My nearest neighbor is a half mile and cannot see us when the trees are out in full bloom. There visibility is very limited even in winter. I have NO small children in my life. I am not opposed to EVER putting in a fence if there comes a point where I am worried about children, but at this point that is moot. If you are at my house, you know me, you are lost, or you are up to no good, at which point, I am on the deck with something that might change your mind about your intentions.
The pool will be completely separate from and behind the house. It will be between the house and another external structure - my barn that we are converting into a bar/changing area. The pool, when you add in all the decking, the tanning ledge, a sit 'n spa, etc, will be very large and take up a lot of my yard. (YEAH - less mowing!) Because of the grade, it will have a retaining wall around about 50%. A wrought iron fence would make it look like a cheap Motel 6 pool. I think any fence will look odd on top of the retaining wall, which is half my pool area, so I will spend all this money on a beautiful pool and then more on a fence that looks ridiculous. And if I HAVE to have a fence, I want one that lets me do whatever I want without worrying about who comes up in the drive and that keeps the dogs and wildlife out. I am much, much, much more worried about a deer or squirrels in my pools than people. And that kind of fence will create a "leaf trap" (lots of trees) and make it hard to move furniture in/out, a future hot tub in, on and on and on. If I lived in an area with neighbors or small children, I would feel very differently, but I am surrounded by own acreage. No, fencing in the yard is not an option because it is HUGE.
So today, I have had several insurance agents tell me the reason why they won't insure me without a fence is because even if someone was trespassing and took a dip and drowned, I could be sued. A fence "limits" my liability - but they could still sue me. So what I take from that is that the insurance company wants to be able to fight the payout - which is ridiculous anyway if people are trespassing. Where I live is SURROUNDED by water - two huge lakes, several rivers, many properties with ponds. I have never heard of anyone breaking into a pool in our area because why would you? Just go to the lake. And if I had a pond on my property, I wouldn't have to fence that! I owned horses for years and had people fall off, get thrown off, had the horses get out and end up on someone else's property, get hung between a truck and trailer and caused a tailgate replacement - never had to have special precautions or problems with the insurance company. All I had to do was post a couple of signs and insurance company was satisfied.
Is this just the way it is everywhere? (I see lots of pictures of unfenced pools.) Do you have problems with people being in it when they shouldn't? Is yours fenced? Are you required to have one? Are you in a rural or suburban area? Does that fence really protect you from a lawsuit or is it just something the insurance companies can use to fight a lawsuit? Do you feel more protected with a fence? And if someone cracks their head on the deck, not even in the water, what does that fence do? How much liability insurance do you carry? Did you have problems finding a company that would insure you (no one really wants to deal with it here)? Did it drastically raise your premiums by adding a pool? Do any of you have insurance companies that didn't require a fence? Was it more expensive? Hard to find? How many have a separate "umbrella" policy just for the pool?
I hate to vent and load this up with questions, but it chaps my buns to be told what I have to do on my own property that isn't required by law. And it chaps my buns to have to put something up I don't want, which very much adds to the cost of the pool, that is making me rethink the whole thing. I could buy a boat and just be at the unfenced lake without all this hassle.