Hot tub insurance claims tripled in 2020 after Britons rushed to buy them

Home insurance claims involving hot tubs almost tripled during 2020, new research has revealed.

There was an annual increase of 188 per cent in relation to accidental damage claims for hot tubs in 2020, according to data from Aviva.

The high ticket items surged in popularity last year as Britons were trapped in their homes and gardens, and some diverted refunded holiday cash. 

They were so sought after that sales soared by up to a huge 1,080 per cent on eBay at one point. 

There has been a significant increase in home insurance claims for damage to hot tubs in 2020

But it seems the more hot tubs sold, the more incidents.  

Some of the accidents reported included a grass strimmer bursting an inflatable tub, birds pecking holes in a spa cover and an engagement ring ripping a tub lining.

In addition, accidental damage claims for items dropped in or knocked off the side of hot tubs in the UK have also increased in recent years by 213 per cent with mobile phones topping the list.

Further claims were received for hearing aids, watches and tablets.

There was also a small number of claims for stolen hot tubs.

In many cases, deflated spas were stolen from garages and outbuildings, although some brazen thieves took hot tubs directly from customers’ gardens. 

The value of claims varied widely in 2020, from a few hundred pounds to more than £9,000. 

Generally lower claim values relate to portable hot tubs such as the inflatable models, while fixed tubs could attract much larger sums. 

It is unsurprising that some of the payouts were so high as many tubs cost more than £10,000. 

However, many decided to splurge are they were saving money on pricey holidays abroad. 

Kelly Whittington, property claims director for Aviva said: ‘Many people bought hot tubs in 2020, while others took their spas out of storage, so they could enjoy holidays at home.

‘Unfortunately this appears to have led to all manner of mishaps, both with the hot tubs themselves and items dropped in them.

‘Many residents will be staying in the UK again this year, so hot tubs and garden accessories are likely to be very popular again. 

‘While it’s great that people are enjoying themselves at home, we’d encourage them to take care when using and storing their hot tubs, as well as being cautious with anything used around them.’

Hot tubs soared in popularity last summer as so many Britons were trapped in their homes

Hot tubs soared in popularity last summer as so many Britons were trapped in their homes

Top tips to avoid hot tub accidents 

Here are some top tips on how you can avoid hot-tub incidents:

1. Think about where you position your hot tub. Customers have reported accidents where tubs have been damaged by glass panes from greenhouses, falling parasols, and even people tripping over them.

2. Be careful with jewellery and watches. Not only can the items themselves be damaged by the water, customers have reported ripping the lining of hot tubs with their jewellery.

3. Review your cover. As the name suggests, ‘accidental damage’ insurance provides peace of mind for unexpected accidents and can cover incidents such as a burst hot tub or a phone which has taken a dip. 

This is often an optional add-on to home insurance and cover levels can vary, so check with your provider.

4. Keep phones away from the water. Tempting as it can be to scroll and take pool-side selfies, phones account for the vast majority of accidental damage claims for items dropped in hot tubs.

5. Take care with tools. Aviva has received claims for hot tubs damaged by spades, strimmers and screwdrivers.

6. Put away your hot tub if it’s not going to be used for a while – and keep it safe and secure. In spite of their bulk, it’s not unheard of for hot tubs to be stolen.

7. Be careful where you store your hot tub. Look out for any nails or sharp edges which could catch inflatable parts, covers or linings. Be mindful that home insurance policies often have exclusions for damage caused by vermin. 

Similarly, insurance is designed for unexpected events, so issues due to wear and tear or mechanical failure would not be covered.

8. Be mindful of any policy limits for items kept in gardens or stored in garages and outbuildings. The limit is usually lower than belongings kept in the main home, so if you have an expensive hot tub, check your home insurance policy to make sure the cover meets your needs.

9. Be careful with lids and accessories. These can cost several hundreds of pounds to be replaced.

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