Broken TVs and hearing aids thrown out with wrapping among Christmas calamities


Over-worked ovens catching fire and valuables including hearing aids accidentally being thrown away with festive gift wrapping are among the Christmas-related calamities an insurance giant has dealt with.

Eleven claims have also been made to Aviva in recent years for feet emerging through ceilings as customers searched for festive decorations stored in lofts.

In other claims handled by the insurer, over-watered Christmas trees have damaged carpets and floors, candle centrepieces have scorched dining tables and fairy lights have burst into flames.

Scores of TVs have also been damaged while people have put up or taken down decorations.

A Santa’s sleigh crashed into a house in one incident settled by the insurer.

Andrew Morrish, UK claims director, Aviva said: “Our data shows there are some very specific claims we tend to see at this time of year, with Christmas trees and candles often taking centre stage.

“Our home claims come in all shapes and sizes. While some incidents may be mildly frustrating, there are others which can be truly devastating, particularly those involving fires.

“We’d urge people to consider whether they may be inadvertently putting their possessions – or even their homes – at risk. By being alert to the unexpected things that can go wrong, we hope our customers can concentrate on enjoying the festive season.”

The insurer has compiled a “12 claims of Christmas” list of hazards its customers have reported to it in the months of December and January over the past five years. It settled home insurance claims for the following incidents:

1. 110 cracked TVs, knocked over while customers were putting up or taking down Christmas decorations.

2. 77 candle claims, with candle centrepieces burning dining tables, flames setting fire to Christmas decorations and wax spilled on carpets.

3. 68 carpets and floors were stained or damaged by water from real Christmas trees.

4. 27 Christmas party mishaps happened where possessions were lost or stolen while customers were celebrating. Popular items included mobile phones, jewellery and watches.

5. 15 items were accidentally thrown out with discarded wrapping paper. Lost possessions include spectacles, earrings and hearing aids.

6. 11 claims were made for feet put through ceilings while customers were getting Christmas decorations from their lofts.

7. Seven sets of fairy lights caused fires when they over-heated.

8. Six cookers were destroyed while cooking Christmas dinner, with pans and pots dropped on hobs and hard-working ovens catching fire.

9. Five ornamental reindeer were stolen from customers’ gardens.

10. Four Christmas card catastrophes happened. They included a pot of ink being knocked on to a carpet, a phone and a china centrepiece being smashed while writing Christmas cards – plus superglue ended up on a sofa while handmade cards were being created.

11. Two gold rings: One customer was making mince pies, so took off her rings while she was preparing pastry. They were thrown out with the rubbish when tidying up.

12. One case of Santa’s sleigh crashing into a house, damaging a doorway, when the horses pulling the vehicle were startled.