Being stuck at home during a beautiful spring last year saw many people taking advantage of their outside spaces.
Whether this was growing veg or building a barbecue, gardens became more important than ever, offering a soothing sanctuary. One garden product that saw a surge of interest was the hot tub.
Accidental damage for hot tubs
Unfortunately, this rise was reflected in the number of home insurance claims involving hot tubs, which almost tripled in 2020. Moreover, figures showed a year-on-year increase of 188%, in relation to accidental damage claims with these items.
Mishaps with tools and gardening equipment, damage from birds, and in one case a tub lining torn by an engagement ring were cited as reasons for claims. Others included damage discovered when bringing hot tubs out of storage to use during lockdown.
Watch your watches (and phones and hearing aids)
Claims for items dropped in or knocked off the side of hot tubs in the UK also increased by 213% . Mobile phones topped the list, while hearing aids, watches and tablets featured too.
There were also a small number of claims for stolen hot tubs. In many cases, these items were stolen from garages and outbuildings, although some brazen thieves swept away hot tubs directly from people’s gardens.
Aviva’s UK Claims Director Andrew Morrish advises people to take care using and storing their hot tubs. “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 discoveries of damage and some mishaps with their new purchases.
“While it’s great that people are enjoying their hot tubs at home, we’d encourage them to be cautious with any items used around them. As our data reveals, a short lapse of concentration can easily lead to an unfortunate incident.”
How to keep your hot tub safe
- 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.
- Be careful with jewellery and watches.
Not only can the items themselves be damaged by the water, they could also damage the tub.
- Keep phones away from the water.
Tempting as it can be to scroll and take pool-side selfies, phones account for most accidental damage claims for items dropped in hot tubs.
- Take care with tools.
We’ve had claims for hot tubs damaged by spades, strimmers and screwdrivers.
- Put away your hot tub when it’s not in use — and keep it safe and secure.
Despite their bulk, it’s not unheard of for hot tubs to be stolen.
- Watch where you store your hot tub.
Look out for any nails or sharp edges which could catch inflatable parts, covers or linings.
- Be careful with lids and accessories.
These can cost several hundreds of pounds to be replaced. One Aviva customer made a claim after her son split their hot tub cover when he ran across it
Check your cover limits
Bikes, barbecues and gardening equipment can all add up. With the average British garden containing more than £1,400 of valuable items it’s worth double-checking home insurance policy limits for items kept in garages and outbuildings. The limit is usually lower than belongings kept in the main home, so if you’ve storing expensive equipment like a hot tub in your garage, check your home insurance policy to make sure it’s covered. Our home insurance covers £2,500 of items stolen from sheds and outbuildings .
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.
As Andrew Morrish says: “Now is also a good opportunity for people to review their home insurance, to make sure it meets their needs. Accidental damage cover is an optional add-on with many policies and can provide peace of mind against those moments of misfortune.”