The 12 claims of Christmas: Quirky home insurance claims

Ho, ho home claims… Christmas may traditionally be the most wonderful time of the year, but happy holidays can also lead to household hazards.

By Katy Brown

We looked at our home claims data from December and January over the last five years, from 2016 to 2020. It revealed that, rather like Brussels sprouts, there are some unpleasant festive fiascos that keep coming back every year.

We’ve identified some of the most common – and a few of the more unusual – to create our very own ‘12 claims of Christmas’ list.

Simply preparing for Christmas can be a dangerous business. It all starts with fetching the decorations from the loft, with 11 claims for people putting their feet through the ceiling.

Illustration showing someone falling through their ceiling

Meanwhile, hanging up or taking down those decorations can be just as risky, with 110 cracked TVs caused by Christmas tree accidents.

Illustration showing Christmas tree falling into TV

And real Christmas trees come with their own special hazards, with 68 carpets and floors stained or damaged by leaking water.

Illustration showing floor damaged by leaking water from Christmas tree

Writing cards for friends and family may seem a safe activity, but that’s not always the case. Claims we’ve settled included a pot of ink knocked onto a carpet, and a phone and a china centrepiece smashed. Meanwhile, creating handmade cards left one customer claiming for superglue damage to their sofa.

Illustration showing man dropping pot of ink on floor while writing Christmas cards

If Santa didn’t leave a fire extinguisher in your stocking you may want to avoid candles and fairy lights. There were 77 candle calamities, with candle centrepieces burning dining tables, flames setting fire to Christmas decorations and wax spilled on carpets.

Illustration showing a candle setting light to a table at Christmas dinner

Meanwhile, seven sets of fairy lights caused fires when they over-heated.

Illustration showing Christmas lights on fire

Cooking Christmas dinner resulted in six cookers destroyed, with pans and pots dropped on hobs and hard-working ovens catching fire.

Illustration showing over catching fire

There are also some people who are definitely on Santa’s naughty list. We recorded 27 Christmas party mishaps where possessions were lost or stolen while customers were celebrating. Popular items included mobile phones, jewellery and watches.

Illustration showing people dancing at a Christmas party

Some people got a little more festive with their thievery, with five reindeer – of the ornamental variety – stolen from customers’ gardens.

Illustration showing people stealing ornamental reindeer

Accidentally losing possessions is also a problem when there’s discarded wrapping paper around. Fifteen items, including spectacles, earrings and hearing aids, were thrown out with the rubbish.

Illustration showing man wrapping lots of presents

One customer took off her rings while making mince pies and, sadly, threw them into the bin while tidying up.

Illustration showing woman making mince pies

Meanwhile, our final claim proves that sleigh driving should always be left to Santa. A sleigh crashed into a house and damaged a doorway, when the horses pulling it were startled and the driver lost control.

Illustration showing horse and Santa's sleigh crashing into house

If you’re a home insurance customer with us and you experience your own festive disaster, remember that we’re here to help. Above all, we hope that you have a very Merry, not to mention incident-free, Christmas.

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