Common Insurance Claims in the New Year

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Home insurance claims for damaged carpetWhile the New Year is a time for celebration and happiness, it can sometimes be one plagued with claims and difficulties. With a number of potential threats posing themselves throughout the winter period, claims for accidents, theft and damage are all expected to have increased.

A report by Sainsbury’s Home Insurance suggests that over £25.4 million worth of claims could be made in home insurance policies across the UK in the New Year.

Of course, January isn’t the only time when insurance claims are likely to increase, as Christmas is also a common time for claims. In December 2010, the average home insurance claim was reported to be 16% higher than during the rest of the year, equating to £1,260.

The festive season is plagued by a number of different claims. Here are the most common:

Homes

As already mentioned, homes are likely to see an increased number of claims made for a number of different reasons. Damage to the home and theft reports regularly increase over the season, leading to a number of common claims and complaints being made. The most common of these include:

•Damage to household contents: over-zealous game-playing leading to toys breaking television sets and parties wreaking havoc on carpets and flooring.

•House fires: with candles and fires all contributing to the dangers posed, exercising caution when lighting these products is the easiest way to protect yourself from this sort of damage.

•Thefts and burglaries: these increase as thieves look to grab valuable presents and gifts stored within homes. Unoccupied homes are the most vulnerable, and with 13 million households expected to be left empty over the New Year, thieves will be given ample opportunity to help themselves to your goods if adequate measures are not taken.

Cars

Perhaps the main cause of claims during this season is that of the weather – something which can cause disruption to both vehicles and pedestrians.

The difficult conditions and increased number of people on the roads mean that car insurance claims are likely to see an increase over this period as well. Some of the most common types of claim include:

•Fires: according to AXA, fire claims for cars increase drastically during the Christmas period, resulting in a 40% increase compared to the rest of the year.

•Thefts: AXA also revealed that thefts underwent an increase over the Christmas period, with claims made last year peaking at 23% above the average. Yet, not all of these claims are said to be legitimate and the insurer explained that one in ten individuals considers making a fraudulent claim over this period.

Accidents

The other major type of claim during the winter months is that of accidents and injuries, with difficult weather conditions and other aspects making accidents more common.

News Today revealed that it was dads who received the most injuries at this time of year, possibly bearing the brunt of over-excited children and new toys. More than 35% of injuries sustained at this time of year are said to afflict dads, with 17% affecting children and 31% being caused by the over-consumption of alcohol.

With decorations to put up, meals to cook and activities to organise, the festive period can be a minefield with accidents, thefts and damage all leading to an increased number of claims.

Policy Expert 

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The views expressed here are solely those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Policy Expert.