Pool cages or enclosures are common in Florida. Some attach to the home, extending from the roof over the pool, while others may be freestanding. Like any other part of the home, pool cages can suffer damage from wind and weather. And in Florida, weather can be severe, as anyone who has ridden out a hurricane can attest. Homeowners insurance doesn’t automatically cover all kinds of damage for homes and associated structures like carports, screened structures, and pool cages. Get out your homeowners insurance or call your agents and ask, “Are pool screens covered by insurance?” The answer may be, “It depends.”
Structures Attached to the Home
If a pool enclosure, lanai, or carport is tucked under an extension of the home’s roof, with the roof extending to a wall, the structure may be covered. However, if the framing of the structure is aluminum, it might not be covered. Many insurance companies offer riders at an additional cost to cover pool cages. Even if the enclosure is covered, it may be subject to a hefty deductible.
Cage and Screen
If a policy or an additional rider covers a pool enclosure, homeowners aren’t entirely in the clear. The policy likely will cover only the framing—the cage itself—and not the screening that stretches in panels between the ribs of the cage.
Maintenance is also an issue; the cage should be kept in a condition that meets its original rating for withstanding winds. If the screws that hold the framing together are worn or corroded, weakening the structure, the company may refuse a damage claim.
Most insurance companies that used to offer coverage for pool enclosures stopped insuring them after Hurricane Wilma in 2005. Pool enclosures simply aren’t built to endure hurricanes. Those attached to the home and found to be structurally stronger may be covered for other damage, but not automatically in most cases. Coverage still may require an additional rider and endorsement.
The Fine Print
The most important thing for Florida homeowners wondering whether homeowners insurance covers pool screen enclosures is to read and thoroughly understand their homeowners policy, including endorsements, riders, declarations, and especially exclusions. Call your agent to pin down whether your enclosure is covered, and if it is, what the limits of the coverage are. Does it cover just the structural elements, or the screening as well?
Covered or not, pool enclosures require regular maintenance. Homeowners in and around Lakeland, Florida, in need of pool enclosure repair and rescreening should contact Pool Screens R Us for professional and cost-effective pool screen repair service.