Launch of new “pool-sharing apps” could lead to public liability claims

Date: Dec 23, 2019

With summer upon us, it’s the perfect time for a new pool-sharing app to launch in Australia. Called Swimply, this app works similarly to Airbnb, and will provide Australians with an online marketplace for renting and sharing pools.

Since people only use their pools for a small percentage of time, yet invest a lot of money into the installation and upkeep, it makes sense to leverage the pool for some quick cash. In fact, the number of people with pools in Australia has been increasing, jumping from 920,000 in 2015 up to 1.1 million pools in the country in 2018. With so many swimming options available, Swimply is bound to gain in popularity.

But with every new revolutionary product or service, it’s important to know what you’re getting yourself into before you start using it.

Public liability and shared pools

Property owners have a duty to care to keep everyone safe. Pools are notoriously dangerous places where slip-and-fall accidents are prevalent and the chance for drowning is a non-zero factor. Many householders might be under the assumption that their home and contents insurance policy will cover any injury that occurs on their property.

However, the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) noted that homeowners renting out their pools on short-term sharing apps need to check with their insurance policies before entering into any arrangement.

“Renting out a private pool for commercial use is not usually included in household policies and should be approached with caution,” said an ICA spokesperson, according to insuranceNEWS.com.au.

Homeowners and building-owners who rent out their pool may find they are not protected by their home and contents insurance if they’re faced with a public liability claim in the event of an injury occurring in or around the pool.

If choosing to use the Swimply app to rent out a pool, homeowners should check with their insurance company first and foremost. Someone suffering an injury due to the negligence of the homeowners can open the doors for a liability claim.

If renting out a pool, the renter should check what kind of insurance the owners have, if any.

If you’ve been injured in a pool, you may be entitled to compensation to cover medical expenses, loss of earnings, pain and suffering, and any necessary home help necessary because of the injury. Contact Gerard Malouf and Partners to learn more.

Call us now on 1800 004 878 to book a free appointment with one of my compensation experts, or email your enquiry.