Did you know that Christmas is the time you’re most likely to need to claim on your home insurance policy? According to More Than, the number of homes damaged by fire rises 300% on Christmas Day and Aviva has the highest number of claims for water damage in the New Year.
There are a few reasons for this – three factors in particular put us more at risk during the festive period than any other.
1. Christmas lights
Always a fire risk, as we fling sets of electric lights onto trees and light candles with abandon. The scattering of wrapping paper and general merriment just compounds the risk. Never leave the lights on when you go out and never leave candles unattended are my best tips.
At what other time of year do we stockpile the most sought-after and high value items of the past 12 months? That’s right – Christmas. Piles of presents, both before and after opening pose a big temptation to thieves and it doesn’t help that we generally stack them in plain sight under the tree. Be wise to the visibility of your home from outside and make sure you don’t present too enticing a picture to would-be thieves. The other issue around presents if you’ve gone all out this year, is value. Your contents insurance will only cover you to a certain limit – buying lots of gifts (albeit ones which may get rehomed once they are given) can significantly push up your net worth in contents. That’s an issue because not only will the extra spend not be covered should you suffer a burglary or fire, but most insurers won’t cover you at all if they feel you didn’t give an accurate estimation of the value.
Generally we can expect a few cold spells to have hit by Christmas and often the first few take us by surprise. Cue frozen pipes and water damage. In recent years we’ve also seen a spate of storms in the early New Year which has caused devastation to parts of the country. 1 in 6 UK homes are at risk of flooding – how well do you know your own risk? We specialise in insurance to cover flood-risk homes so get that sorted now in order to relax and enjoy your Christmas.
That’s all the warnings for now and I know it’s a dampener on the spirit of the season but it does make me so sad to read the inevitable stories of festive disaster. Christmas is a risky time of year – and it’s also a wonderful one. I hope my pearls of wisdom might help you make a few choices that will protect you against any crisis in the weeks to come.