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Perennial Christmas hazards

AT THE END of each year insurance companies typically register a number of insurance claims with the same cause: Christmas and year-end celebrations. Most incidents involve fire and fireworks.

AT THE END of each year insurance companies typically register a number of insurance claims with the same cause: Christmas and year-end celebrations. Most incidents involve fire and fireworks.

“During the holiday at the end of the year several accidents occur consistently whose causes are linked to Christmas and the arrival of the new year,” said Lucia Muthová, spokesperson for Allianz-Slovenská Poisťovňa. “Among the accidents happening most often at this time of year are damage to property caused by fire, and damage caused by fireworks and other amusement pyrotechnics to properties as well as to health.”

Allianz-Slovenská Poisťovňa reported just before last Christmas that during the previous three years it had paid out €538,000 in seasonal claims (€160,000 in 2006, €202,000 in 2007, and €176,000 in 2008).

Its clients often report and claim damages for accidents caused by cheap lighting ornaments on Christmas trees. Another frequent cause of fire is unattended candles, for example on Advent wreaths. Other clients report damages caused by fireworks, which after falling onto plastic windows can set them alight.

Clients also often suffer damage to their cars caused by fireworks. Conversely, water is another frequent cause of damage. For example, one insurer’s client caused massive damage to a downstairs property after using an excessive amount of water to put out a small fire.


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