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Hot tubs are big purchases. And, naturally, when you make a big purchase, you want to protect it from damage and dysfunction. That's where most homeowners turn to insurance.
But what's the over-under on insuring a hot tub? Is hot tub insurance a thing? If so, just how far does your coverage go? Let's take a look.
Can you insure a hot tub?
In a word, the answer is yes. Some homeowner's insurance policies cover amenities like hot tubs, and many others have add-on options that allow homeowners to expand their existing coverage to include these and other non-dwelling structures.
A more thorough and accurate answer, though, is it depends.
While certain insurance companies are willing to cover hot tubs as part of a comprehensive home or property policy package, not all of them do.
Most insurance providers treat hot tubs as annexes of the homes they're situated in—additions that increase both the monetary and value of a living space. However, these additions are generally understood to come with a higher risk of mishaps and misuse than other, more innocuous enhancements like decks, fire pits, or landscaping features.
For this reason, there's no guarantee that your current home insurance provider will be willing to extend your coverage to include a hot tub. The only way to find out for sure is to get in touch with a representative from the company and inform them of your plans.
Tips for getting your hot tub insured
It may come as a surprise to you, but there's no such thing as standalone hot tub insurance.
Since hot tubs, spas, pools, and other water features are considered part of the home, you'll need to add them to your homeowner's or property insurance if you want to cover them against adverse situations.
Be aware that getting a hot tub insured only protects you, the owner, from being held liable in the event of an accident. It doesn't cover the hot tub itself from mechanical failure or physical deterioration.
If you're looking for this type of protection, your best bet is to see if you can purchase an extended warranty or separate insurance plan directly through the manufacturer.
1. Understand the basic coverage classifications
Extended coverage for features like hot tubs generally falls under the heading of "Coverage B"—that is, separate coverage for any outlying structures not included in Coverage A, which pertains to your domicile itself.
As a rule, the coverage limit for Coverage B policies is scaled to around 10% of that of your primary policy, Coverage A. This means that if your home coverage is for up to $500,000, your hot tub and anything else included under Coverage B will be covered for up to $50,000.
2. Familiarize yourself with the particulars of your policy
While talking things over with your agent, be sure to ask about the exact circumstances under which your hot tub is insured. Different policies have different definitions and levels of coverage for various "perils" or types of incidents, so it's a good idea to brush up.
If you're lucky enough to score a policy that provides for repairs or replacement, it will also be helpful to ascertain whether the insurance will cover your hot tub at full cost or only its current cash value. If it's the latter, the amount of money you stand to garner from a successful claim will decrease over time as the hot tub gets older and depreciates.
3. Be prepared for your monthly premium to go up
Assuming you're able to add your new hot tub to your existing homeowner's insurance policy, you can expect the price you pay per month to go up—but not by too much.
All in all, securing hot tub insurance through an umbrella plan is relatively inexpensive. American homeowners spend an average of $150-300 per year insuring their hot tubs against general liability.
That may sound like a lot on top of the median retail rate of a brand new hot tub, but it's a small price to pay to avoid the potentially catastrophic costs associated with hot tub-related accidents.
Crucial hot tub safety requirements
Regardless of whether or not your insurance provider okays your new hot tub, there are things you can do to make it safer for one and all and reduce your risk of liability. For example, you'll want to make sure you have:
- Covers that fit and fasten securely
- Gating or fencing elements (or both, in some cases) that keep your hot tub off-limits to small children and pets
- Automatic locks or latches on all surrounding barriers
- "No Trespassing" or "Caution" signs posted where they're plainly visible
Insurance companies will typically require you to implement one or more of these safety measures before they grant extended coverage for your hot tub.
Even with these measures in place, hot tubs can still pose a serious hazard to children. According to the CDC, drowning is the second leading cause of death as a result of unintentional injury among children under the age of 14, coming in just below automobile accidents in terms of overall danger.
As the homeowner, it's your responsibility to take the steps necessary to accident-proof your hot tub and do everything in your power to prevent tragic—and financially ruinous—consequences.