Are Hot Tubs Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
- Are Hot Tubs Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Relaxing, therapeutic, fun. No matter how you describe them, hot tubs are just flat-out nice. It’s hard not to enjoy one when you’re in it. Even though your worries might leave your mind when you’re soaking in a jacuzzi, you shouldn’t forget to realize the insurance implications of owning one.
Are Hot Tubs Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
Yes, hot tubs are generally covered by homeowners insurance. If your insurance company has agreed to cover your home with your hot tub, you’ll have liability coverage in case a guest gets hurt in or around the hot tub. You should also be covered if the tub gets damaged, but how your insurer reimburses you for your damaged jacuzzi varies by provider.
You might not realize it, but hot tubs are dangerous. Accidental drownings and injuries happen every year. According to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, there were, on average, an estimated 6,600 pool- or spa-related, hospital emergency department-treated, nonfatal drowning injuries each year for 2016 through 2018. And, 363 pool- or spa-related drownings were reported per year for 2014 through 2016 involving children under 15.
The bottom line is, unfortunately, your home with a hot tub presents a greater risk for an insurance company than a home without one.
The liability portion of your homeowners insurance policy protects you from accidental injuries someone can sustain on your property. This would apply to hot tubs, too. For instance, if a visitor slipped and fell due to water from or in your jacuzzi, your insurer could cover their medical expenses and legal fees should they sue you. This protection also applies if someone were to drown in your hot tub, which would clearly be the worst-case scenario.
Liability limits usually start around $100,000 per claim on an average home insurance policy. If you have a hot tub, though, your provider will likely recommend (or require) you to get more. Expenses stemming from any injury can rack up fast, and your provider may ask you to get $500,000 or more in liability coverage to remain insured. In some cases, you may want to look into an umbrella policy.”
Personal Property Coverage
Many hot tubs are completely separate and detached from your home. They may come in a box, or they may be erected in your backyard as a self-contained unit with no connection to your home at all. If this is the case, your hot tub may be covered under coverage C in your home insurance policy, also known as personal property coverage.
In this case, your insurer would consider your hot tub an item that you own, like your TV or your furniture, and it would be subject to your personal property coverage limits if it were damaged.
Personal property limits vary based on how much stuff you have. For example, if you believe you have $50,000 worth of belongings, you’d choose $50,000 worth of personal property coverage. If you have $40,0000 worth of stuff, you’d choose $40,000. Reimbursement for damage to your hot tub would fall under this maximum if your insurer considers it personal property.
However, insurance companies deal with damage to a hot tub in different ways. It depends on how your carrier classifies the home spa under your coverage. Hot tubs can also be considered an other structure.
Other Structures Coverage
Some hot tubs are connected to the home in some way. For instance, they can be part of an attached deck or the tub can be wired into a home’s electrical panel or utility lines. If this is the case, your insurer may consider your jacuzzi an other structure of your property.
Other structures limits are usually around 10% of your home’s dwelling value. So, if you have $300,000 of dwelling coverage on your home, you may be limited to $30,000 worth of other structures coverage. Damage to your hot tub would fall under this limit.
Another important consideration is whether you’ll be reimbursed for your tub’s replacement cost or its actual cash value. Personal property is typically covered on a replacement cost basis, which means you’ll receive about what you paid for a belonging if it was damaged. Some insurers only cover other structures on an actual cash value basis. This means depreciation will be factored into your payout, lowering the amount you’ll receive depending on how old the item (your hot tub) is.
But, you should check with your provider to see if your tub is covered in the first place. Some companies may make you get an added endorsement before protecting it. When it is covered, your hot tub should be safeguarded from the same perils listed on your policy that your home and belongings are. These could include storm damage, fires, and fallen trees, whether it’s considered a part of your home or as your personal property.
Are Frozen Hot Tubs Covered by Homeowners Insurance?
A frozen hot tub may be covered by homeowners insurance depending on what caused the freezing. If water in the pipes to your hot tub, or in the tub itself, froze and damaged your tub as a result of your negligence or error on your part, you won’t be covered.
Your insurance company may expect that taking proper care of your hot tub in the winter is part of expected upkeep. Draining and covering your hot tub during the winter is your responsibility. If you forget to do this and allow water to freeze in your tub and damage it, your insurer likely won’t help you out.
However, if there was a sudden and unexpected cold snap that froze water in some utility lines leading to your hot tub that damaged the tub, a pump, or the pipes connecting it to your water line, your insurer may cover the damage. Many policies cover “freezing of a plumbing, heating, or air conditioning system.” If your insurer determines that your hot tub connection falls under this protection, they may help you with the damages.
Do I Need to Add My Hot Tub to My Homeowners Insurance?
Your insurance company should know if your home has a hot tub. If you didn’t have one when you got your policy, and you’re getting one, you should let your insurer know. If a claim spawns from a hot tub that a provider didn’t know you had, you could be denied.
Your insurer needs to know about major renovations or additions you do to your property. They could recommend increasing or reducing coverage based on the changes you make. If you’re adding a hot tub, your rate will likely go up, unfortunately. Your provider may ask you to raise your liability coverage, which may only cost a few dozen dollars a year. Or, if you’re adding a major feature like a deck or a pool along with your hot tub that’s drastically changing the value of your home, you may need to readdress your coverage entirely.
Additionally, to be sure your carrier will cover your new hot tub. You may need to check local laws and the rules of your insurance company. Some city ordinances may require your hot tub to be a certain distance from your fence, for instance. A carrier may require you to have proper child safety measures in place or a hot tub cover before agreeing to include it in your policy, as well.
Does an Inflatable Hot Tub Affect Home Insurance?
Like a regular hot tub, an inflatable hot tub may affect your home insurance. A liability claim could arise from it. And, if it’s valuable enough, you could be eligible for reimbursement if it gets damaged.
Some high-end inflatable hot tubs cost over a thousand dollars. As long as the cost of your inflatable hot tub is higher than your home insurance deductible, it could be covered if it gets damaged. For instance, if your $3,000 inflatable spa got stolen when you deflated it one day (or before you inflated it), and you had a $1,500 deductible, you could choose to file a claim for it.
It’s hard to say whether having an inflatable hot tub would affect your home insurance rate overall, though. It could vary by company. If they ask you whether or not you have a hot tub, you should answer that you have an inflatable one. It’s up to your provider on how to factor it in, if at all.
Hot Tub Insurance Claims
Hot tubs spawn a surprising number of insurance claims beyond just liability issues. Per the BBC, the number of hot tub-related claims increased substantially in 2020, as jacuzzi sales went up and more people were soaking at home.
Other than injuries, claims for items ruined after falling into the hot tub increased. And, even claims for thefts of hot tubs occurred. Hot tubs can both cause and sustain damage, which is why it’s so important your provider is aware of yours when insuring your house.
Keep in mind that it’s important to maintain your hot tub adequately. Your insurance company likely won’t reimburse you for your hot tub if it stops working after you’ve neglected it for years. Your carrier expects you to perform routine maintenance to keep your jacuzzi in working order.
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The editorial content on Clovered’s website is meant to be informational material and should not be considered legal advice.