• Accident-prone Brits damage more laptops during lockdown
  • One of the UK’s biggest home insurers says claims for laptops have increased by more than 20%
  • Spilt coffee, stampeding children and excitable pets among the reasons for damage

Locked down Brits are having more computer calamities, with insurance claims involving laptops on the rise.

One of the UK’s biggest home insurers, Ageas Insurance, said it saw a notable increase in accidental damage claims for laptops during 2020 as millions of people stayed at home and used their devices to stay connected.

Ageas reported a 23% rise in accidental damage claims in 2020 compared to the previous year, which could be due in part to the increased time spent by people at home using laptops.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, spilling drinks was one of the most frequent causes of damage (39%). And while tea (13%), coffee (21%) and glasses of water (31%) topped the list of liquid offenders, some more unusual substances also featured.

One cultured claimant spilt red wine on their laptop watching a live-streamed theatre performance during lockdown. Another unfortunate householder spilt prosecco over their machine while toasting in the New Year on Zoom. Meanwhile, one customer got into a sticky situation when a strawberry daquiri descended on her device.

They say never work with children or animals and it seems this might be true when laptops are involved.

One handler took a call from a customer whose grandchildren had dropped a laptop into their hot tub. The quick-thinking grandparent reportedly tried to dry it out…by putting it on the radiator.

Several Ageas customers explained their children had spilt milk over their laptops last year, perhaps counteracting the age old saying ‘there’s no use in crying over spilt milk’.

Analysis shows children were involved in 17% of claims made by Ageas’ customers for accidental damage to laptops in 2020.

And four-legged members of the family have also been responsible for household headaches. Ageas received regular reports of cats and dogs knocking laptops off tables and sofas in 2020.

Robin Challand, Claims Director at Ageas, said:

''We’ve become even more reliant on our laptops during the pandemic but it seems they’re never too far from a potential accident in the home. Whether it’s flying tea, wagging tails or overenthusiastic toddlers, danger lurks in all kinds of places. Having contents insurance and selecting accidental damage cover can provide peace of mind that, if the worst happens, you’re able to get back up and running again quickly.''