Friday the 13th - unluckier for some

Article date: 12 June 2014

  • Motor collision claims increase by 13% on fateful day

The age old superstition about falling prey to bad luck on Friday the 13th does in fact ring true for some motorists according to new data from Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer. Analysis of 10 years of claims data reveals that motor collision claims increase by an average of 13% on Friday 13th, compared to other days in the same month*.

This unlucky day spookily sees more bumps and shunts than normal no matter what time of year Friday 13th falls on – be it a cold winter, rainy spring or sunny summer.

And although around two-thirds of people (63%) admit to holding some superstitious beliefs, just one  quarter of us (26%) believe that Friday 13th is an unlucky day, according to research from the insurer**.

Half of us (50%) admit to using the phrase ‘touch wood’ to prevent bad things from happening, while two-fifths (43%) avoid walking under ladders and more than one in three (36%) avoid opening an umbrella indoors.

The top five superstitions that people believe in

1)    50% use the phrase “touch wood” in the hope that something bad won’t happen

2)    43% avoid walking under ladders

3)    36% avoid opening an umbrella indoors

4)    30% will not place a pair of new shoes on a table

5)    26% believe Friday the 13th is an unlucky day


When it comes to drivers, almost one in ten (9%) said that that they keep a lucky charm in their car and 5% said they believe getting bird mess on their car is a good omen.  

Heather Smith, marketing director of general insurance at Aviva, commented: “Friday the 13th is traditionally a superstitious day for many but it’s spooky to see motor claims rise by an ‘unlucky’ 13%.   

“While we don’t wish to cause a bout of friggatriskaidekaphobia (fear of Friday the 13th) among the population, we hope these figures will help encourage people to take extra care today, whatever they might be doing.”

“And if bad luck does happen, Aviva will be on hand 24/7 to help our customers on this ‘unlucky’ day.”

With the uncertainty of Friday the 13th, Aviva customers can at least be certain about the quality of its claims service, which is demonstrated by the ratings and reviews that appear on the Aviva website.  Customers who make a claim are invited to rate and review the service they received.  So far 1339 customers have reviewed their Aviva motor claims service, with an average rating of 4.2 out of 5.***

- Ends -

If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:

John Franklin: Aviva Press Office: 01603 680795
Zoe Blackburn: Hill+Knowlton Strategies: 0207 4133013

Notes to editors:

*Aviva claims data 2004 - 2013

** Aviva commissioned research with OnePoll among 1,000 GB adults online between 29 May and 2 June 2014.

*** Data taken from the Aviva website on 11 June 2014

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