• Accident-prone Brits damage more laptops and tablets since the start of lockdown
  • One of the UK’s biggest home insurers says claims for laptops or tablets increased by nearly a third last year
  • Spilt coffee, stampeding children and excitable pets among the reasons for damage

With the unluckiest day of the year (Friday 13th) fast approaching, one of the UK’s biggest home insurers, Ageas, says that lockdowns and an increased reliance on technology have fuelled computer calamities, with insurance claims involving laptops and tablets on the rise.

Ageas Insurance says it’s seen a notable increase in accidental damage claims for laptops and tablets since the pandemic began, which could be due in part to the increased time spent by people at home using their devices to stay connected.

Ageas saw accidental damage claims involving laptops and tablets rise by almost a third (30%) during 2020, the ‘year of the lockdown’. And just as restrictions continued throughout the first half this year, so has the trend for clumsiness in the home, with claims of this type already on track to meet, if not exceed, last year’s numbers.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, spilling drinks was one of the most frequent causes of damage (33%). And while tea (5%), coffee (8%) and glasses of water (11%) 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 technology devices 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 devices last year, perhaps counteracting the age old saying ‘there’s no use in crying over spilt milk’.

Analysis shows children were involved in 5% of claims made by Ageas’ customers for accidental damage to laptops or tablets last year.

And four-legged members of the family have also been responsible for household headaches. Ageas continues to receive regular reports of cats and dogs knocking laptops and tablets off tables and sofas.

With Friday 13th fast approaching it seems that there could be hope on the horizon for tech owners across the country. Ageas says its claims data may dispel the myth that Friday 13th is unlucky for some. Analysis shows the insurer has had less accidental damage claims for laptops on Friday 13ths over recent years than it has on average Fridays within the same months.

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 soon.