Holiday Havoc: A Guide to the Top Five Unusual Holiday Insurance Claims

Posted by Richard Jacobson

The holidays are almost here! With the parties, decorations and celebrations of this festive season come some unusual insurance claims.

Beyond the snow and ice damage to homes or emergency room visits due to a fall off the ladder while putting up decorations, here are some the most unexpected holiday situations that have resulted in unique insurance claims:

  1. Keep Calm and Gobble OnKeep Calm and Gobble On: Compared to an average day in November, Thanksgiving sees cooking-related home insurance claims more than double. The increased popularity of turkey fryers is fanning the flames and adding an additional element of danger. Other tasty troubles include food poisoning from undercooked, spoiled or contaminated food. In fact, a surprising number of unlucky partygoers will experience food poisoning after mistaking inedible holiday decorations for chocolates.

  1. Over the River and Through the Woods: The holidays are a time of heavy travel as people take to the roads, rails and sky to visit family and friends. The number of accidents caused by exhausted or drunken drivers sees an increase during these busy travel months. Another holiday driving hazard? Christmas decorations. Hundreds of thousands of car accidents are caused every year due to distracted drivers eyeing lights and decorations.

  1. You're a Mean One, Mr. GrinchYou’re a Mean One, Mr. Grinch: The flurry of gift purchasing during the holiday season is prime time for thieves—both in-person and online. Cyber criminals are known to step up their efforts during the holidays, particularly via public Wi-Fi networks. In addition, burglaries of gifts from within the home or delivered on one’s doorstep also rise during the holidays.

  1. Brown Paper Packages Tied Up With Strings: Christmas morning is filled with excitement and anticipation. However, the rush to unwrap the gifts scattered under the tree often leads to hundreds of emergency room visits. Annually, the use of scissors and knives to tear through festive wrapping paper has resulted in a number of health insurance claims for the slicing of one’s hands, arms or legs.

  1. O Tannenbaum! The Christmas tree is a centerpiece of many holiday celebrations. But this traditional holiday decoration is not without its dangers. With more and more individuals opting for live trees, there is an uptick in house fires. The combination of electricity from decorative lights and the water used to keep trees alive has led to numerous insurance claims. However, having a tree within the house is not the only danger. One particular claim tells of a woman driving home from a day of Christmas shopping whose car was nearly totaled after a poorly tied tree flew off another vehicle and hit her car. Fortunately, the woman’s auto insurance policy covered the damage, and she was even able to keep the tree!

Here’s hoping your holiday season is happy, safe and claim-free!