Surviving the festive season - common Christmas calamities revealed


From setting fire to more than just the Christmas pudding to decoration disasters, Ageas Insurance has revealed some of the Christmas claims that spoilt last year’s festive fun.

For many of us the biggest disaster over the festive season is when Great Aunt Maud doesn’t like her present. The Christmas disaster was a little more serious for the 11,000[i] Ageas customers who made a home insurance claim last year. Here’s the story behind some of them;

The loft is rarely visited by many of us and mainly used for storing things like Christmas decorations. People who’ve entered a downstairs room without using the stairs will tell you that retrieving these decorations can end in catastrophe. While the joists may be safe to walk on, the area between them is simply a plastered ceiling and stepping on this will almost certainly result in an unwanted foot shaped hole.

Once your decorations are safely out of the loft it’s time to put up the tree. Unsurprisingly Christmas trees are also a common cause of festive damage; from people plunging off ladders, damaging more than a few baubles to toppling trees taking out tvs, there are many ways that the traditional Christmas tree can needle you. If your choice is a real tree you’re not out of the woods when it is secure and decorated as damage can still be done to carpets by tree sap and water.

It isn’t just the tree and decorations that can cause havoc this time of year, Christmas lights and candles are common culprits of festive fire damage. Last year, while putting up their decorations one unfortunate person knocked over a candle, which burnt a hole in the fish tank causing water to pour out all over their electric lights.

Ageas revealed another less obvious cause of fire damage – the Christmas pudding. One unlucky gentleman discovered just how perilous a pud can be when carrying it through to the dining room. The Christmas pudding toppled from the plate, spilling flaming brandy on to the carpet and on to the dining room table leaving more than a mark. To make sure the dessert is the only thing that is on fire this Christmas day light it at the table, Yuel be glad you did.

The only thing worse than a bad Christmas pun is having is to make a claim for water damage to your home. If you are leaving your home unoccupied as you head off to stay with family for a festive visit, don’t forget to leave the heating on at a constant low temperature to protect your pipes from frost damage. The cold weather proved to be was an unwelcome Christmas guest for a number of Ageas customers’ last year including one whose frozen pipe in their utility room caused not only water damage but a cracked toilet cistern too. Be wary as the cold weather kicks in or it may not just be a pile of late Christmas cards that greet you when you open the front door on your return. 

Robin Challand, Claims Director for Ageas said: “Accidents in our homes can happen at any time of the year and sadly it’s no different at Christmas time.

“The dash to decorate our homes and get everything ready can mean that we get caught out by disobedient decorations and unexpected weather. Please remember these stories we’ve shared and make sure nothing interrupts your festive family fun."

You can find out more, including tips to help you survive the festive period here.



Notes to Editors

Ageas is one of the largest general insurers in the United Kingdom, providing insurance to around five million customers. It offers car and home, travel and small business insurance through brokers, affinity partners and its own brands. Customers are able to buy Ageas branded car and home insurance direct from ageas Ageas UK holds a majority share in Tesco Underwriting, providing home and motor insurance to Tesco Bank customers. Ageas is a wholly owned subsidiary of Ageas Group, which is listed on the Belgium stock exchange.

Ageas customers are covered for leaks caused by freezing pipes (known in the insurance industry as escape of water) on standard home insurance policies. Breakages to televisions and other valuables in your home are covered under the optional accidental damage cover. Accidental damage to ceilings is covered under a standard home insurance policy.


[i] [i] 11,085 customers made a claim on their home insurance policy between 1 December 2017 and 31 January 2018.