The top festive party accidents keeping insurers busy over Christmas

10th December 2015


Sainsbury’s Home Insurance is advising homeowners to be cautious when partying this Christmas as research reveals that more than a third, at 36%, of Britons have caused some damage to their property over the past three years, whilst getting ready to go out.

The supermarket’s survey found the top party perils experienced by both hosts and guests as homeowners prepare to open their doors to friends and family to celebrate the festive period.

Overall, over a third at 37% of hosts, have experienced some form of party calamity over the past three years, with those under 35 the most vulnerable age group, followed by 35-54 year olds and those aged over 55.

The most common accidents to happen to people getting ready to go out involve a spillage of some kind, with hair dye, nail polish or nail polish remover and make-up all featuring prominently in the list of pre-night out nightmares.

The age group most likely to have an accident are aged under 35, with more than half, at 54%, admitting that either they or someone they lived with had caused damage to their property when preparing for a night out. This figure falls to 39% for those aged 35 to 54 and 18% for those aged over 55.

The most common accidents experienced for those that have hosted a party are spillages that cause a stain that can’t be cleaned up, doors or locks being broken and – possibly of greatest concern to hosts – fridges and freezers breaking down.

Scott Gorman of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance commented:  “Christmas is a magical time when friends and family come together to eat, drink and be merry. However, this can sometimes be a hazardous combination, with a large proportion of people claiming to have either been the victim or perpetrator of a classic festive party mishap.

“Items such as candles, irons, and hair straighteners can be easy to forget when getting ready to go out. And we’d also recommend putting any valuable items out of reach if you’re hosting a party. Above all, we hope that everyone has a safe and wonderful Christmas.”

Analysis of Sainsbury’s Home Insurance data revealed that claims for accidental damage rise by 6% in January compared to the annual average in the wake of party season. Furthermore, the number of claims for accidental damage over the festive period last Christmas rose by 9.8% in comparison with the previous year.

But Britons are becoming more aware of the potential pitfalls of enjoying a Christmas party, with over a quarter, at 28%, saying that they believe house parties at Christmas to be more likely to result in collateral damage than in any other time of year.

The top party-related accidents:

Accident occurring getting ready to go out Percentage of all adults to have caused damage this way
Got hair dye/other products on the carpet or bathroom suite 14%
Spilled nail polish/polish remover 14%
Spilled / smashed make-up e.g. blusher 13%
Left hair straighteners on 8%
Let a bath or shower overflow 7%
All people who have caused damage getting ready to go out 36%
Accident occurring whilst hosting a party Percentage of adults whole have thrown a party to have caused damage this way
A stain which couldn’t be cleaned up (e.g. red wine) 22%
Doors / locks were broken 8%
Fridge or freezer broke down 8%
Window was broken 7%
Cigarettes have caused a fire/damage 7%
All people who have caused damage hosting a party 37%


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