What are the top 12 Christmas insurance claims?

What are the top 12 Christmas insurance claims?

The Christmas holidays should be a time of peace and harmony, but for homeowners there are risks and pitfalls threatening that peace.

Whether it’s an accident in your home, which could really destroy any festive cheer, or a break in, as December is one of the busiest months of the year for theft claims.

Admiral insurance has listed 12 of the most common types of accidents and incidents it deals with over the Christmas period, and is reminding homeowners to stay aware and hopefully stop any of them ruining the holidays.

John McSherry, head of claims at Admiral Home Insurance,  explains: “We spend more time in our homes at Christmas than at any other time of year. There are more people around and more hustle and bustle. This, and the fact we cook and drink more mean there are more possibilities for us for accidents to happen.

The incidents in our list frequently happen over Christmas, and while our advice to avoid them might be obvious, they are worth considering to prevent your Christmas being ruined.”


12 feet through ceilings

Every year before and after Christmas, people venture up into their lofts for what may be the only time in the year, to get their decorations down. Admiral gets several claims each year where people accidentally step between the joists in their attics and put a foot through the floor, damaging the ceiling of the room below. Make sure you go up to your loft prepared, take a torch if you don’t have light up there and only step on joists if it doesn’t have proper floorboards.

11 candles burning

Candles create a cosy atmosphere around Christmas, but they are still a naked flame and so whenever you light a candle, take care. Place it on a stable surface. Make sure there is nothing nearby that could catch fire in the flame and never leave a candle unattended. Finally make sure you extinguish them before going to bed, and also watch out for the melted wax, it can ruin furniture and carpets if it’s spilt.

10 parents tripping

Amongst all the excitement of Christmas Day, little ones aren’t usually bothered about tidying up after themselves. If you’ve got children, there will be toys and gifts left around the house. While stepping on a Lego brick without shoes on might cause you to cry out, it shouldn’t cause too much damage, but tripping over a mis-placed Hatchimal on the stairs might. Keep an eye out for haphazard gifts, and persuade the kids to keep their toys in one pile.

9 freezers failing

Unfortunately there’s not a lot you can do to prevent your freezer giving up the ghost before Christmas, and if it does it could cause a lot of hassle and disappointment. Admiral deals with several claims each year where the full Christmas shop is spoiled and has to be thrown out. If your fridge freezer is on its last legs and at risk of conking out, consider getting a new one before Christmas, or ask your neighbours to keep your shopping in theirs.

8 falls off ladders

This is another type of accident that usually happens when putting Christmas decorations up or taking them down. Inside the home, the cause is often an unsecured stepladder with someone tiptoeing on the top step to reach the corner of the room. Outside it could be a normal ladder being used to put up or take down lights. Either way, never go up a ladder without someone else around, and make sure the bottom of the ladder is stable.

7 forgotten cooking

Good food makes Christmas special, while a glass or two of your favourite tipple can fill you with festive cheer, but cooking while drunk? Not such a good idea. It’s easy to forget about food in the oven when you decide to cook after a boozy night out. Not only could you damage your cooker and your pots and pans, you could start a fire, particularly if you fall asleep.

6 faulty fairy lights

Faulty fairy lights can cause fires and on Christmas trees, surrounded by wrapped gifts, small fires can soon develop into a blaze. Check your Christmas tree lights conform to the British Standard (BS EN 60598). Make sure you switch off fairy lights and unplug them before you go to bed, or when you leave the house. And of course never overload a plug socket.

5 burst pipes

Although we rarely have a white Christmas in the UK it doesn’t mean temperatures don’t drop during December and in freezing temperatures, water pipes can burst. A burst pipe can cause thousands of pounds worth of damage and cause you to have to leave your home. Take some time to protect your pipes from bursting by lagging them. And if you are leaving your house empty for any length of time over Christmas, either leave your heating on low, around 12 degrees or turn off the water supply at the mains and drain the system.

4 stolen bikes

What better present on Christmas morning than a shiny new bike? But it’s a sad fact that unattended new bikes attract thieves. As well as a bike, buy a secure lock and make sure your son or daughter uses it whenever they leave their bike unattended. At home, make sure they don’t leave it lying around in the garden and if it’s kept in the shed, make sure that has a strong lock too.

3 spilled wine glasses

One of the most common accidents Admiral sees at any time of year is red wine spilled on carpets and furniture. The culprit could be a pet, an excited child or a tipsy adult, but the result can be extensive damage. Over the Christmas period there’s likely to be more drinking at home than usual, so make sure you stand glasses and bottles on a table, and well away from small children and pets.

2 dancing dads

We’ve all seen the videos, excited adults dancing around the living room to Christmas songs. It doesn’t have to be Dad, it could be Mum, Gran or Uncle Tony. Whoever they are they are a menace and could result in a broken chair or a foot through a window. We don’t want to be party poopers, but if someone in your family is getting a little bit over exuberant with their dancing, you might want to sit them down. If that doesn’t work, at least make sure the room is cleared of any breakables.

1 thief taking all of the gifts

The saddest Christmas claim of all, and unfortunately it does happen. Criminals know at Christmas, households are likely to have lots of new gadgets and gifts in them. Do whatever you can to deter the scumbags. In the lead up to Christmas, our homes are often left empty in the evenings, so always leave a light on when you go out. And never ever leave presents in view of passers-by. If you’ve ordered things to be delivered, don’t leave a note telling the delivery driver you are out. And after Christmas, don’t leave boxes for expensive gifts outside.

John McSherry continued, “One last tip from us is to not let your home security slip in the new year. At Admiral, in the last few years we’ve seen an increase in the number of thefts in early January. It could be that thieves are targeting homes full of new gifts and gadgets given at Christmas.”

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Latest Comments

warren
warren 26 Apr 2017

You're very welcome Mary! Glad you enjoyed them :)

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Mary Ward
Mary Ward 26 Apr 2017

Thank you for the wonderful ideas. First impressions can make or break a deal. It's sadly that many homeowners drop the kerb to create an off-street parking space.

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Tony Gimple
Tony Gimple 14 Apr 2017

I'm not at all surprised that so many landlords are still confused about what the tax changes really mean and how it will affect them. In particular, the blind rush to incorporation is leaving landlords...

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MH
MH 13 Apr 2017

You are right that the bank holidays are going to be spoiled in looking for the properties. But people who want to sell their property and looking for the better relocation, they can get benefits of this...

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bnellyb
bnellyb 08 Apr 2017

There will be an exodus of private landlords over the next 5 years as tax changes take effect, private landlords provide an important service to the rental market, why do housing associations and councils...

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Fred Cassman
Fred Cassman 07 Apr 2017

"Make it look like you are at home": often people forget this and share on facebook their location!

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jared townsend
jared townsend 05 Apr 2017

It'll be interesting to see how & if the Government's asset sale regarding mortgages helps

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SecomTech
SecomTech 04 Apr 2017

...and not one mention of the rules on PERMITTED DEVELOPMENT!!! Unless you have studied the plans you will not know...It's probable a high proportion would not need planning permission...BUILDING Control...

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Jonathan
Jonathan 03 Apr 2017

That's a very interesting study indeed. There is no doubt that new services and web apps such as Wonego.com in the UK or Roomster in the US will change the way people look for a flatmate, and that tenants...

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MBM Homelets
MBM Homelets 23 Mar 2017

Although this is a very positive step, there is little or no guarantee of the standard of workmanship employed by the tenants. We have had experience of a professionally decorated property being ' painted'...

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ajay
ajay 21 Mar 2017

How is the "robust evidence" looking now?

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NathanG
NathanG 20 Mar 2017

I've been watching the series so far and am completely baffled by the cases that were presented. Though, I don't think that we can protect ourselves from every scam possible - it will just make the scammers...

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