Whether it’s beginning to feel a lot like Christmas or not is now something of a moot point. Because, like it or lump of coal it, Christmas is well and truly upon us. That time of cheer and bonhomie, of feast and merriment. Of last minute charges into town to scrap for this year’s latest kids craze. A time of carols and Christmas parties, of Santa hats, novelty ties and instantly regretted romance.
And, invariably, a time when the claims departments get busy dealing with all manner of weird and wonderful claims.
With that in mind, we take a little look at some of the risks that the festive season brings, offering a little insight into some of the claims that might be heading to your inbox come Boxing Day morn.
The Santa Clause
A jolly chap he may be, but good old Saint Nick certainly has the potential to be a Ho-Ho-Home wrecker on his annual visit each year.
For instance, does your home insurance include Reindeer cover? Those hooves can play havoc on roof tiles, you know. Furthermore, older houses are simply ill-equipped to bear the weight of fully-laden sleighs.
And the least said about all the chimney soot footprints on that feature rug in the living room, the better.
More Common Building Claims
OK, so Santa is not the cause of that many Christmas claims – in fact his track record is damn near impeccable, to be fair to him.
But home insurance claims on the whole do have a habit of striking when the holiday season kicks into full swing.
It’s hardly surprising, of course. Christmas tends to occur slap bang in the middle of winter for us Northern Hemisphere types, meaning the risk of damage from inclement weather (such as £680m worth of burst pipe damage during the icy cold Christmas of 2010). And with a tendency for people to spend more time at home over the holidays, then the risk to property damage rises.
Mistletoe and Crime
The season of goodwill it may be, but for some of our less scrupulous members of society, this is prime-time crime-time. For while most of us associate the season with the Robin, others are out a doing some robbing.
The days leading up to Christmas are high-risk for house burglaries, meaning contents claims aplenty. However, you can rest a little easier come Christmas Day itself, which is traditionally one of the more burglary free days of the year.
Hey, even criminals need a day off.
Chestnuts Roasting on a Blazing House Fire
The candles are lit, the fairly lights are on in the living room. And the bedroom. And on the tree. And around the guttering. Oh yes, and in the bush in the front garden. The TV is on in the front room. And the back room. And the Xbox is plugged in next to the 10 phones on charge. And each point on the gas stove is working overtime to keep the food supply high.
While Uncle Clive is having a cheeky fag outside, near the wrapping paper filled recycling bags.
Christmas Day is one of the most common days of the year for household fires, up almost 120% other days in the year.
The Odd Claims
Yes, Christmas claims are not an uncommon occurrence; when the house is full, and money is being spent, then accidents, damage and misadventure is always a risk. But while making a Christmas claim might be perfectly normal, that does not mean that all claims are, of themselves, normal.
Such as the Grandfather who wanted to show off his grandson to send some Christmas cheer via Skype, only for said child to throw up over the keyboard and cause more than £400 of damage.
And while Christmas trees are often the source of damage inducing peril, liable to be the cause of a claim (as many a cat owner will surely know) the man who kept his tree in the bucket of water probably wasn’t banking on the £1,600 worth of damage that particular topple would induce.
But, On Festively Positive Note
So yes, the days after the festive period will undoubtedly bring a raft of claims winging their way to insurers and brokers the country over. But let’s be positive – it is Christmas after all. Mishaps and misadventure may happen, but for most, the time passes blissfully uneventful. Albeit grateful that the cover is there, when the unlikely does arise.
Upon which note we say, to friends, clients, accidental visitors and casual acquaintances all:
A VERY SAFE, HEALTHY AND MERRY CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL.