Hammer wielding three year olds, exploding salad dressing and rogue loft squirrels: The bizarre festive claims of the over 50s*

Tuesday, 22 December 2015

‘Tis the season and as many families prepare for a hitch-free Christmas, insurance provider RIAS looks back at some favourite festive claims from the last few years*. The month of December has been a particularly unfortunate month for some in recent times, with the combination of high spirits, full houses, expensive presents, excitable pets and restless grandchildren becoming a recipe for disaster!


The twilight drone: A woman from Tonbridge took advantage of the good conditions to fly her new £680 drone. However, things took a mysterious turn when, having turned away to shield her eyes from the sun, looked back to see her unmanned aerial vehicle had inexplicably vanished while airborne.

Dressed to impress: A 64-year-old woman from Salisbury was the victim of a salad dressing explosion, leaving a not so tasty dining room damage bill of £1,454.

Winds and bins: While sitting comfortably at home in Sheffield, one policyholder had a sudden startle when high winds caused an outside bin to hit the window, causing £160 worth of damage.

Return to sender: When a proud grandfather from Guildford held up his new grandson to show him off to a relative via Skype, the baby promptly threw up all over the keyboard causing £437 worth of damage.

Timber: A fallen Christmas tree is a common occurrence at this time of year but keeping it in a bucket of water can lead to disaster, as one Darlington man found out to the tune of £1,621 worth of damage.

Batter up: A Sunderland man’s niece decided the living room was the best place to start an indoor baseball game. The ending was all too predictable as instead of connecting bat and ball, his niece connected bat and the £687 flat screen TV.

Canine calamity: While painting the hallway, one Cardiff family accidentally let the dog out of the kitchen. The excited pooch proceeded to jump in the paint and run around the carpet. In an attempt to catch the dog, the daughter also knocked a hot iron off the ironing board, adding burns to paint stains on a carpet which was damaged to the tune of £636.

Squatting squirrel: A Southend man was the victim of an unwanted house guest – a ‘still at large’ squirrel moved into the attic and promptly chewed through a water pipe, with the ensuing deluge causing £322 worth of damage.

Stop, hammer-time! While working upstairs a Belfast man’s three-year-old daughter decided to get her hands on one of daddy’s hammers. The downstairs TV was the target and dad came down to find £399 worth of damage done by a very excited toddler.

Curious cat: While catching a mouse would usually be part of one Edinburgh cat’s job, computer mice are a different story. While pouncing on its prey one mischievous moggy managed to squash a laptop screen directly onto the mouse causing £373 worth of damage.


Mark Hanson, Director of Marketing at RIAS, comments: “December has been a particularly lively month for claims in the past, with some bordering on the quite bizarre. Excited grandchildren and lively animals can be the chief culprits for claims, with expensive new gadgets and carpets at risk! While often these mishaps can’t be prevented, our extensive claims history highlights just how important it is to have the right insurance policy in place, so should the worst happen, you’re not left with a ‘not so festive’ bill .”


*All claims sourced are from RIAS customers from December 2014, 2013 and 2012, finalised and paid under the Standard, Accidental Damage, and Personal Belongings Away From Home sections of the RIAS Home Insurance policy. Claims service provided by Ageas Insurance Limited. 

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