Joined: 06/17/2014 09:32 PM EDT
Location: Carmel, IN
I recently received this question from a Real Estate Agent in Florida:
Hello, we have a client who is interested in purchasing a home warranty. What options do they have? Specifically, after the inspection, they’re concerned about their pool. So what would happen if 6 months from now the pool just sunk into the ground? What option would be best for that kind of coverage? Thanks in advance.
At first when I read the question, I only read it one way and wanted to quickly respond with the following:
It should be noted that a pool simply sinking into the ground as described is incredibly uncommon.
Then it occurred to me that the word "sunken" could have two meanings, so just in case I wanted to address both possibilities. Here's the long answer to what you tell a client that is purchasing a home with a pool about structural failures and home warranty coverage for pool systems:
That’s a great question and I’m thrilled that you are thinking of these sorts of scenarios for your clients. There are enormous differences between home warranty plans – which are largely mechanical in nature. With your Full Home Inspection from Peace of Mind Inspections you get a whole suite of warranties free with the inspection that cover a broad range of structural issues with the home as well as mechanical coverages that even cover underground sewer lines. You can get an overview of these coverages on our website at http://www.peaceofmindhomeinspectionsfl.com . Simply hover your cursor over any of the coverages for a brief explanation of each. Your client will also receive each of those policies in written form as a part of our Home Inspection process.
Your client may also want to get an extended Home Warranty from Residential Warranty Services, and when they do they will get a free 6 month extension since they had their home inspected with us. This coverage comes with all of the options you might find at an additional charge with other home warranty plans, with one exception – the pool coverage. You can certainly add this coverage and you can order your policy right online at www.FLhomewarranty.net. The pool coverage is for unexpected failures in the mechanical equipment that runs the pool – heaters, pumps, and the lines that feed them above ground.
With all that said, you asked a very specific question that we can’t say we’ve had asked before – “(What happens ) if 6 months from now the pool just sunk into the ground?” It’s an interesting question, one that could be taken one of two ways. The first and most common reason a pool might just be sunk into the ground is in an instance where someone takes a pool designed for above ground use and simply digs a hole and the pool is “sunk into the ground”, giving the appearance of a below ground pool installation. While this isn’t what these units were designed for, there have been many that have been installed this way mostly for the purpose of aesthetics. In many communities above ground pools are prohibited by Home Owner’s Associations and this can be a less expensive way to install an “in ground pool”.
The second way your question could be taken, which we believe was your intention, is the more literal “pool sunk” as in there is an extreme settlement or even a sink hole occurrence. There is no warranty nor insurance policy to cover such an issue with the following exceptions:
An actual sink hole occurs causing damage and becomes a homeowner’s insurance claim. Some policies would cover such an event and we suggest your client consult with their insurance agent to ensure their policy has this coverage.
A settlement event occurs on a recent installation where it becomes evident that the installation was defective and the installer is found to be at fault (in which case they would be responsible for repairs).
We’re sorry to go long on this response, but your question was an interesting one and you are clearly working very hard to protect your clients. Thank you for working so hard for them!
Keep in mind some of these links are specific to a particular home inspection company, Peace of Mind Home Inspections in Sarasota, so some of the links above are specific to their clients.