March Madness: Annual surge in accidental damage claims as DIY season starts

18th March 2012

The number of home insurance claims for accidental damage in the first half of the year is expected to peak in March for the third successive year as the DIY season gets underway. This is according to Churchill Home Insurance analysis of accidental damage claims*.

It seems that DIY disasters could be responsible for this surge in damage, as people traditionally dust off their tools and improve their homes as the weather gets warmer and the days get longer and lighter.

The number of accidental damage claims has increased by an average seven per cent in March over the past two years, and could rise even higher this year as more householders chose to improve their current properties rather than move home as property prices remain sluggish.

The number of claims for accidental damage to pipes and cables, such as hammering through floorboards into a water pipe, drilling through a cable or digging into a pipe in the garden, increased by nearly a fifth (17 per cent) in March in 2010 and 2011.

Similarly, claims for broken glass and damage to bathroom suites, such as tools dropped into a bath or sink, increased by 15 per cent last March compared with the rest of the January - June period.

Martin Scott, head of Churchill Home Insurance, commented: "Each year we see a spike in accidental damage claims in March, coinciding with the time of the year when many householders turn their attention to fixing things around the house and making home improvements.

"It's understandable that many people want to have a go at home repairs themselves, both to help save money and to emotionally invest in their bricks and mortar. But not paying due care and attention or attempting a home maintenance job that's beyond their skills could result in some costly repairs. The average cost of repairing resulting damage caused by accidental damage to a pipe or cable is over £1,600, while the average cost of fixing damage to broken glass or sanitary ware is around £600."

Churchill Home Insurance is offering a 50 per cent discount on Home insurance to new customers who have five years No Claims Discount**. Householders should remember to add Accidental Damage cover as an extra to their home buildings cover policy if they want protection against accidents such as drilling through a water pipe. To protect against accidental damage to their home contents, such as paint spilt on carpets, householders should remember to add Accidental Damage cover as an extra to their home contents cover policy.

Notes to editors:

  • * Churchill Home Insurance analysis of accidental damage claims, Jan 2010 - Dec 2011
  • ** This includes a 25% introductory discount for all customers and if you're claim free for 5 years you can achieve the 50% discount in total. Minimum premiums apply, offer extended until July 1st 2012.

For further information:

Vicky Bristow
Churchill Press Office
Tel: 0208 313 5741


Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK’s leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

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