Chris Bishop, Client Executive at Northwood Insurance Services, gives some useful tips on how you and your tenants can have a safe, happy and claim-free Christmas this year.
As you gear up for the festive season, thoughts are rightly on parties, presents and good food. However, while Christmas day is usually a day of celebration, it is also unfortunately one of the worst days in the year for fire damage. Fairy lights, festive candles and flambéed puds are all contributors to a higher fire risk and increased claims. According to 10 years* worth of claims data, Christmas Day sees an increase of 120% in fire claims, compared to an average day, as kitchens go into overdrive to prepare the festive feast.
For others New Year’s Eve doesn’t represent a great start to the year with a rise in burglaries reported. Expensive presents are a magnet to potential thieves with New Year’s Eve statistically one of the worst times of year for burglaries.
The festive period also brings other claim trends:
- Christmas Day sees the lowest number of theft claims – 80% lower than an average day.
- New Year’s Eve is one of the worst days for accidental damage claims in the home. A 25% increase in claims vs. a typical day is largely down to spills on carpets, cigarette burns and damage to mobile phones and cameras at parties.
- New Year’s Eve also sees a 50% increase in fire claims.
Top tips for a safe and happy Christmas:
- Take care when cooking Christmas dinner – ovens will be working over-time and it’s easy to leave gas hobs on when the house is busy and noisy
- Check fairy lights, don’t over load sockets and switch them off when you’re out and when you go to bed
- Don’t place the tree and decorations near candles or the fireplace
- Don’t make your home look like a shop window for burglars by leaving presents under the tree – try to keep them out of sight until the big day
- Ensure all gift packaging is as unidentifiable as possible when you throw it out. It’s easy to just dump new TV or iPod boxes in or near your outside bin, but it’s a beacon for opportunistic burglars
- Double-check the home security before you leave for a Christmas or New Year party
- Ensure all doors, windows, sheds and garages are locked securely and spare keys aren’t on display or located near to your front door
Source: Aviva claims data from 2003 to 2012