Punctured, pecked and stolen: hot tubs leave home insurer drained

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The insurer Aviva says claims involving hot tubs nearly tripled last year as people spent more time in their homes and gardens during coronavirus lockdowns.

Analysis of its UK claims data for 2020 shows an 188% rise in accidental damage claims for hot tubs over the previous year.

Claims it accepted included a grass strimmer bursting an inflatable tub, birds pecking holes in a spa cover and an engagement ring ripping a tub lining. Falling parasols have also led to damage, as have people tripping over them.

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Aviva said claims for items dropped in or knocked off the side of hot tubs have also increased in recent years: mobile phones top the list but other items include hearing aids, watches and tablets.

The insurer had also received a small number of claims for stolen hot tubs: some were taken from garages and outbuildings, others directly from customers’ gardens.

Kelly Whittington, property claims director for Aviva, said many people had bought hot tubs in 2020, or taken them out of storage, during lockdown.

“Unfortunately this appears to have led to all manner of mishaps. Many residents will be staying in the UK again this year. 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 our data reveals, a short lapse of concentration can easily lead to an unfortunate incident.”

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