With just four more sleeps until the big day, claims analysis from Ageas reveals that one in seven (14%) of all household claims made in 2015 were made in December and the cost, on average, was nearly three times more than the annual average claim cost for the rest of the year (£6,500 versus £2,600).
As a result of storms Desmond, Eva and Frank, just over a quarter of all home claims last December recorded by Ageas were for storm damage (26%) and more than one in ten (13%) customers claimed for flooding to their homes. However, a close second to storm damage were claims which reflect the hectic and lively nature of the Christmas period - one fifth (20%) of all December’s claims in 2015 were for items which were accidentally dropped, damaged or lost.
Other common claims include smoke and fire damage as a result of unattended candles setting fire to candle holders, tables, mantelpieces, curtains and carpets.
Far from just receiving the usual types of claims, last Christmas the Ageas claims teams were on hand to help customers with unusual and quirky insurance claims, including:
- A customer in Coventry was getting ready for the festivities on Christmas Eve when a pigeon flew into the kitchen through the window and caused £350 worth of damage.
- Having overindulged on succulent Christmas turkey with all the trimmings, a customer in Newcastle dozed off on the sofa and dropped his glass of red wine all over the carpet – which cost nearly £400 to replace!
- A policyholder in Stockport had been enjoying a romantic Christmas, with candles glowing when, unfortunately, one was knocked over in the bedroom causing damage to a chest of drawers, carpet and dressing gowns to the tune of £850.
- Whilst the lights of Blackpool were glistening, an Ageas policyholder from the seaside town had a real fright when the side panel of the shower cubicle mysteriously exploded costing over £1600 to fix.
- Remember The Wet Bandits from ‘Home Alone’? A customer in Walsall returned from a Christmas break to find his home was burgled and the thieves left the taps running causing over £11k worth of damage.
- A scene from Lord of the Rings replayed when a sapphire diamond ring was tossed out with the Christmas day rubbish. Despite a desperate search for ‘precious’, all hope was lost. Luckily peace on middle earth was restored when Ageas helped replace the ring at a cost of £1,500. We hope there’s no sequel to this epic.
- Visiting friends are a welcome sight at this time of year – unless they bring their inquisitive grandchild with them. Whilst old friends were reminiscing over a mince pie they failed to notice the missing child and their mobile phone. The tiny tot naturally wanted to see if the phone would sink or float. What better place to try than the toilet. Just so you know, it doesn’t float – at all. The phone cost nearly £150 to replace.
- During a festive feast a cracker touched the naked flame of a candle and was quickly alight. A merry stomping dance began to put the fire out. The poor carpet didn’t stand a chance and the havoc cost nearly £3k to sort out.
Rob Hopkins, Head of Household Claims at Ageas said: “We understand that the Christmas period is busy and merry for most of us. The joy of families getting together is what comes to mind first but our claims experience shows that this is the perfect scenario for mishaps. Luckily, our claims teams will be on standby 24/7, even during the Christmas period, to make sure we are there to provide a peace of mind or even come to the rescue if our customers need us.
“There are some simple tips for making the Christmas period safer, including locating the stopcock in the house in case of freezing temperatures, not advertising that you’re out and about on festive family trips on social media, and definitely blowing out all Christmas candles when you’re not in the room.”