12 claims of Christmas – State unveils most common claims this holiday season

"Kitchen mishaps have now surpassed mobile phone claims"

12 claims of Christmas – State unveils most common claims this holiday season


By Kenneth Araullo

Recent data from Kiwi general insurance provider State indicates that over 30% of content claims on Christmas Day are attributed to incidents that occur during meal preparation. Notably, the preparation of the traditional Christmas turkey has been a recurring theme in many of these claims.

As the festive season approaches, New Zealanders are increasingly engaging in ambitious culinary endeavours, often stretching the limits of their cooking abilities and kitchen equipment. This trend has led to a noticeable rise in kitchen-related insurance claims during the Christmas period.

State Insurance has compiled a list, termed “State’s Twelve Claims of Christmas,” which includes the most common items claimed for during the festive season. These include:

  • Cooking and kitchen appliances
  • Mobile phones
  • Eyewear
  • Jewellery
  • Televisions and accessories
  • Furniture
  • Computers and laptops
  • Hearing aids
  • Car accessories
  • Dentures
  • Watches
  • Bikes and scooters

Wayne Tippet, executive general manager of claims, noted a significant increase in kitchen-related insurance claims on Christmas Day, with a 92% rise observed last year.

“Kitchen mishaps have now surpassed mobile phone claims which have typically taken out the top spot on our Christmas Day claims list,” Tippet said. “We’ve learnt that ‘blackened turkey’ might be a new Kiwi speciality too. In 2021, the popular Christmas turkey posed a great threat when frozen – cracking glass tables and kitchen tiles – but last year, the tables had turned.”

The Christmas season of the previous year saw a variety of unusual incidents, including microwaved hearing aids, damaged ovens from turkey cooking mishaps, and phones accidentally dropped into gravy. Tippet suggested practical precautions in the kitchen, such as using timers and keeping mobile phones safely stored away.

Additionally, refrigerator and freezer malfunctions leading to leaks were also a notable cause of claims.

Outdoor cooking, an integral part of New Zealand culture, has also been associated with an increase in insurance claims. State's data indicates that barbecues (BBQs) are a growing source of fire-related claims, with 137 fire claims tied to BBQs around the Christmas period last year. With the risk of wildfires heightened due to dry summer conditions and El Niño winds, Tippet advised caution when using outdoor cooking equipment or planning open fires.

Boating accidents, while fewer in number, resulted in the loss of various valuables to water bodies, including phones and even dentures.

Christmas tree-related incidents, although on the decline, continue to pose challenges. Tippet cautioned about securing trees properly to prevent accidents, citing instances of trees causing damage while being transported or becoming playthings for pets.

Cooking mishaps are not confined to Christmas Day alone. State insurance reported nearly 400 content claims related to kitchen appliances and cooking from Boxing Day through to January. Mobile phones remain a significant portion of content claims during the holiday period, showing a 16% increase from the previous year.

“If you do need to make an insurance claim, we’ll have our team working throughout the festive season to get you back on your feet as quickly as possible,” Tippet said.

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