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Home insurance claims involving hot tubs bubbled over last year as people spent more time in their gardens during lockdown, an insurer has said.

Aviva said there had been a 188% year-on-year increase in accidental damage claims for hot tubs in 2020.

Claims it accepted include a grass strimmer bursting an inflatable tub and an engagement ring ripping a lining.

The high-ticket items rocketed in popularity in 2020 as more people spent summer in the UK.

Last June, shopping platform eBay reported sales of hot tubs had increased by nearly five times. And, stock on Argos’s website remains limited, where hot tubs can cost up to £6,439.

But parasols falling into tubs have also caused customers trouble, as have birds pecking holes in their covers, according to Aviva.

The insurer added that accidental damage claims for items dropped in, or knocked off the side of, hot tubs in the UK have also increased in recent years. Mobile phones topped the list of items that took the plunge.

The insurance giant also saw a small number of claims for stolen hot tubs. In many cases, deflated, out-of-use, spas were stolen from garages and outbuildings.

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,” she said.

Ms Whittington urged hot tub owners to take care when using and storing their spas, as well as being cautious with anything used around them.