Apples - not satsumas - in stockings are top temptation for festive thieves

Apples - not satsumas - in stockings are top temptation for festive thieves

New Year's Eve is the worst day for burglary over holiday season. Must have Apple products are likely to fill stockings again this Christmas – but, be warned, they also top the wish list for thieves looking to fill their own swag-bags this season.

Our data shows that iPhones, iPods and iPads were on the top 10 list of items stolen last Christmas and it predicts that Apple products look set to be the most wanted presents again this year.*

Top 10 items stolen Christmas 2011 Predicted Christmas wish list 2012
1. Apple iPhones 1. Apple iPhone 5
2. Toshiba Laptop 2. Laptops (particularly Sony and Apple)
3. Sony Playstation 3 3. Handheld consoles (particularly 3DS)
4. Nintendo 3DS, DSi 7 Wii 4. Apple iPod (Touch, Classic, Nano)
5. Kindle 5. Apple iMac 21.5"
6. Apple iPod (Touch and Classic) 6. Handheld tablets (Kindle, iPad Mini, Google Nexus)
7. Apple iPad 2 7. Smartphones (Blackberry and Samsung)
8. Sony PSP 8. Digital Cameras (particularly Sony)
9. Microsoft Xbox 360 9. Apple iMac 27"
10. Apple iMac 21.5" 10. Multimedia (games – new releases, dvds – blue-ray)

However, burglars will wait until revellers are out celebrating New Year before attempting to steal the Christmas goodies. According to ten years' worth of our data, homes are 20% more likely to be broken into on December 31 than on an average day over the Christmas period.**

By contrast, Christmas Day and Boxing Day are when you are least likely to be burgled - in fact Christmas Day has 55% less burglaries than the average day as thieves take a break for the festive period.

But if you are unfortunate enough to be targeted by thieves over Christmas, we have claims teams on hand to help 24 hours a day, every day of the year. And within two hours of your call, it will send an approved tradesperson to secure your home and make it safe after a break-in.***

Burglary is covered as standard under your home insurance, but to help protect those special Christmas gifts, we automatically increase contents cover by an extra £3,000, over the festive period.

Jonathan Cracknell, household underwriter at Aviva, said: "The statistics show that the most likely person to break into your home on Christmas Day is Santa Claus." But homeowners need to be aware that just a week later it could become an Unhappy New Year as Dec 31 is one of the five worst days of the year for burglary.

"Thieves will take advantage of empty houses, party noise and fireworks as people celebrate late into the night. So, as well as remembering the champagne, ensure that you leave lights on and secure all windows and doors including those on your garage and sheds when you head out partying, otherwise those special Christmas presents may end up being a gift for someone else."

Other quirky Christmas claims facts include:

The heat is on

While Christmas Day might be theft-free, candles, Christmas lights and cookers working on overtime, all add up to the worst day of the year for fire claims, with December 25th seeing a 110% increase compared to an average day. And with fireworks going off across the country on New Year's Eve there is a 45% increase in fire claims.

Christmas Crash

Desperate last minute shopping could be the reason for a 25% increase in motor accidents in the week before Christmas. Come Christmas Day though all is calm and bright with 55% less crashes than average. The period between Christmas and New Year's Eve is also the safest time of the whole year for car collisions. But if you are involved in an accident your Aviva car insurance will recover both you and your car if your vehicle is not safe to drive.

Our tips to a safe and happy Christmas:

  • 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
  • Attics and lofts are a good hiding place for presents and it's usually too much effort for the average burglar to look that hard for items to steal, plus they'll be far away from the wandering eyes and hands of excited children
  • 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 your home 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 near to your front door – this will prevent burglars using the hook and cane method through your letterbox
  • Leave lights and the TV or radio on if you're out and about over Christmas so burglars think you're home
  • Be neighbourly – keeping an eye out for suspicious behaviour and alerting the police if necessary is the right thing to do and could mean you prevent a miserable Christmas or New Year for your neighbour

* Aviva theft claims data from December 2011

** Aviva claims data from 2001 to 2011

*** This service is for homes which are unsecured or unsafe as a result of damage

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