Extra safe on the extra day

Article date: 25 February 2008

It's a quirk of the Roman calendar but now it seems that Leap Year days are also a quirk of the claims calendar. Data from Norwich Union shows that 29 February is the safest day of the year in and around your home.

Analysis of 10 years of claims data - including the two leap years in 2000 and 2004 - reveals that the extra day sees 20% fewer claims for theft, fire, water leaks and accidental damage compared to an average day.

Leap year days also see 20% less car accidents than normal, making it the third safest day of the year on the roads, after Christmas Day and New Year's Day.

Greg Gladwell, director of claims at Norwich Union, says there's no apparent scientific reason for the figures: "Perhaps the extra day means that people subconsciously change their routines or habits. The increasingly lighter mornings and evenings may mean people walk instead of drive to work, or go out for the day instead of pottering at home.

"Then again perhaps the odd male is in hiding in case he is put on the spot by his partner and so isn't behind the wheel of his car or causing havoc in the kitchen!

"It's also interesting to note that in some countries the Leap Year Day is considered bad luck and regarded with superstition, so perhaps everyone is extra cautious when they're out and about.

"But it's worth bearing in mind that all claims go up again on March 1 so if you want to keep claims-free, take a note of how you behave on February 29 and do the same for the rest of the year!"

Some Leap Year Insurance tips:

  • If you are preparing to propose to your boyfriend, whoever buys the engagement ring should check it is included in your home contents policy and make sure you keep the receipt!
    (And if he declines your proposal, Scottish tradition states that he should pay a fine either a kiss or a payment for a silk dress or pair of gloves)
  • If you have a birthday on a Leap Year Day and are planning a house party ensure you move all valuables out of harms way and cover any expensive furnishings with old sheets or blankets. Check you have extra accidental damage cover for any red wine spills on the carpet!
  • Remember to always tell your insurer your correct age. If you are a Leap Year Baby you may only have had 8 actual birthdays, but that could be good news for your motor insurance as we appreciate you are really 32!
  • 15% Leap Year Discount for Norwich Union customers at Goldsmiths.

Planning a sparkly gift on 29 February? If you're thinking of popping the question or just fancy surprising your loved one with a something special on 29 February, Norwich Union has teamed up with Goldsmiths in an exclusive offer for home and motor customers. Just take proof of your policy to any Goldsmiths store across the UK and receive 15% off all gold and jewellery items.

The offer is valid for 29 February only*

Terms and conditions

*Offer is open to all customers who have a personal Norwich Union-branded policy for either home or motor insurance. Policy documentation must be shown to Goldsmiths staff prior to purchase, to confirm you are a Norwich Union customer.

Offer is redeemable against gold and jewellery items within Goldsmiths stores (excluding airports/discount outlet stores/Harrods and http://www.goldsmiths.co.uk/) and on full price items only.

Discount is not available on watches, Rolex, Cartier, giftware (EG photo frames, plate ware decanters, and lighters) or repairs and services. This discount is non-transferable and cannot be used in conjunction with any other offer or promotion. Limited to one transaction per customer.

The offer is available for one day only, 29 February 2008.

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Press office contacts:
Rebecca Holmes
Norwich Union
Telephone: 01603 685 177 / 07800 690 731
E-mail: Rebecca.l.holmes@norwich-union.co.uk

Sophie Lam
Lexis PR
Telephone: 020 7908 6482 
E-mail: slam@lexispr.com

Notes to editors:

Norwich Union is the UK's largest general insurer with a market share of around 15%, with a focus on insurance for individuals and small businesses.

It is a leading provider of life, pensions and investment products and one of the largest financial adviser (FA) providers.  FAs provide over 70% of the company's long-term savings business in the UK.

Norwich Union's news releases and a selection of images are available from Aviva's internet press centre at www.aviva.com/media.

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