Dog stting next to Christmas tree

Every year families suffer disasters over the festive period which result in making a claim against their home insurance policy. Ageas, one of the country’s leading insurers, has revealed some of the Christmas claims that spoilt last year’s festive fun for 11,000 of their customers:

The loft is rarely visited by many of us and mainly used for storing things like Christmas decorations. People who’ve entered a downstairs room without using the stairs will tell you that retrieving these decorations can end in catastrophe. While the joists may be safe to walk on, the area between them is simply a plastered ceiling and stepping on this will almost certainly result in an unwanted foot shaped hole.

Once your decorations are safely out of the loft it’s time to put up the tree. Unsurprisingly Christmas trees are also a common cause of festive damage; from people plunging off ladders, damaging more than a few baubles to toppling trees taking out TVs, there are many ways that the traditional Christmas tree can needle you. If your choice is a real tree you’re not out of the woods when it is secure and decorated as damage can still be done to carpets by tree sap and water.

It isn’t just the tree and decorations that can cause havoc this time of year, Christmas lights and candles are common culprits of festive fire damage. Last year, while putting up their decorations one unfortunate person knocked over a candle, which burnt a hole in the fish tank causing water to pour out all over their electric lights.

Ageas revealed another less obvious cause of fire damage – the Christmas pudding. One unlucky gentleman discovered just how perilous a pud can be when carrying it through to the dining room. The Christmas pudding toppled from the plate, spilling flaming brandy on to the carpet and on to the dining room table leaving more than a mark. To make sure the dessert is the only thing that is on fire this Christmas day light it at the table, Yuel be glad you did.

The only thing worse than a bad Christmas pun is having is to make a claim for water damage to your home. But this doesn’t just happen over Christmas.

If you are leaving your home unoccupied as you head off for a winter break or to visit family at any time during the winter months, don’t forget to leave the heating on at a constant low temperature to protect your pipes from frost damage. The cold weather proved to be an unwelcome guest for a number of Ageas customers’ last year including one whose frozen pipe in their utility room caused not only water damage but a cracked toilet cistern too. Be wary as the cold weather kicks in or it may not just be a pile of post that greets you when you open the front door on your return.

Robin Challand, Claims Director for Ageas said: “Accidents in our homes can happen at any time of the year and sadly it’s no different at Christmas time.

“The dash to decorate our homes and get everything ready can mean that we get caught out by disobedient decorations and unexpected weather. Please remember these stories we’ve shared and make sure nothing interrupts your family fun.”

Thanks to Ageas for revealing the stories behind some of the claims. Here’s hoping you aren’t one of this year’s casualties.