A liability insurance policy is a necessity for a property owner, and highly recommended for renters. If someone is injured on a rental property and can prove negligence on the part of either the landlord or the renter, there will be an insurance claim. The claim can be based on poor maintenance or repair of the building, grounds, fixtures and temporary installations such as above-ground swimming pools. A renter can also be held liable if the accident resulted from his own actions.
Some renters policies include liability coverage. This protects the renter against a claim for damages if an accident should occur within the dwelling occupied by the renter. Renters policies will spell out the extent of the liability coverage, which in most cases will be limited to direct actions of the renter or negligence of his own property. Some policies will have additional coverage for freestanding structures — such as an above-ground swimming pool — owned or operated by the renter on the property.
In most cases, the property owner is responsible for maintaining the building, fixtures and grounds, depending on the lease terms. If an above-ground swimming pool has been purchased and installed by the owner, then the renter would have no liability for any accident that occurred in that pool through poor maintenance or upkeep. If, for example, the pool were to collapse and a neighbor's basement flooded, the property owner would be responsible for flood damages, even if the renter inadvertently caused the collapse.
Anyone suffering a pool accident and claiming damages against the renter must prove that the accident was foreseeable; that the renter had control over the event; that the renter was negligent; and that the renter should have taken reasonable steps to fix the problem that caused the accident. In nearly all cases, the landlord or property owner will be the first defendant in such a claim, as the person with control over maintenance of the pool. If, however, the renter bought and installed the pool with the landlord's permission, then the renter would be held responsible for its maintenance.
Renters liability insurance will cover any property damage or injury caused by the negligence or actions of the renter. Thus, if during a friendly gathering a renter throws an unsuspecting friend into a shallow pool, and the friend suffers an injury as a result, the renter would be liable for the injury and his insurance policy, if it included liability coverage, would be subject to a claim. This is true whether the landlord or the renter owns the pool.
Founder/president of the innovative reference publisher The Archive LLC, Tom Streissguth has been a self-employed business owner, independent bookseller and freelance author in the school/library market. Holding a bachelor's degree from Yale, Streissguth has published more than 100 works of history, biography, current affairs and geography for young readers.