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Feet through ceiling among festive fiascos

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Putting up Christmas trees can lead to mishaps at home

Putting up Christmas trees can lead to mishaps at home

REUTERS

Putting up Christmas trees can lead to mishaps at home

Householders putting their feet through the ceiling when searching the attic for decorations, and TVs being knocked over when the Christmas tree is being put up are among the festive fiascos that people make claims for on their home insurance.

Fires caused by candles, tea-lights and overheated Christmas trees are other reasons people are forced to make a claim on their insurance, according to an analysis by Aviva.

Other regular claims from householders result from impact damage to garden and house walls due to cars skidding on ice-covered driveways.

Aviva warned that it sees many claims for the theft of Christmas presents from homes and cars, which it said can be very distressing for its customers.

Cracked TVs is a major source of claims.

The devices get knocked over while excited customers are putting up, or taking down, the Christmas trees and decorations.

Another one is the escape of water. This is usually caused by freezing pipes, which can be particularly devastating if customers are away for the holiday period, the insurer said.

However, Aviva said it does not anticipate that this will be such a big issue this year, given the Covid-induced restrictions.

Property claims manager with Aviva Insurance Ireland David Lyons said that although Christmas may be somewhat different for all of us this year, accidents will happen.

Freezing

"Our experience shows us, that some specific claims have a habit of cropping up at this time of year, with fires, thefts and escape of water when temperatures drop below freezing, being some of the regular occurrences encountered by our customers."

Aviva advised householders to be careful not to leave candles and Christmas lights on while not at home, or overnight.

People were also reminded to be mindful of their home security and were advised not to be complacent while celebrating Christmas.

If away, people should time heating to come on/off to protect against freezing pipes.

Aviva said it is a good idea to leave the attic hatch door open to allow heat into your attic space to prevent pipes in attic from freezing.

If planning to be away for a long period of time during the winter months, you should drain your tank and turn the mains water feed off at the stopcock.

Mr Lyons added: "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 or water damage."

He urged people to consider whether they may be inadvertently putting their possessions, or even their homes, at risk.


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