Aviva reveals home insurance claims trends arising from COVID-19

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Fewer iron-burns on carpets and thefts from homes but more claims for hearing aids and hot-tubs are just some of the changes Aviva saw during the COVID-19 outbreak, as new behaviours affected claims trends.

Analysis of the insurer’s home insurance claims since the start of 2020 revealed a number of interesting changes, with some expected to remain.

Accidental damage is the biggest driver of home insurance claims, with carpets being one of the most damaged items, according to the insurer.

But Aviva saw claims for iron-burns fall by 42% in 2021, compared to the 2017 to 2019 average, as people worked from home more and favoured more casual clothes that didn’t require ironing. 

Another type of claim that fell was for thefts from home. They dropped drastically during the pandemic, particularly during lockdown periods.

Thefts from outbuildings, garages and sheds also reduced, although not as dramatically as in the main home buildings themselves.

Aviva saw significant increases in home insurance claims for lost or damaged hearing aids and earrings, with face masks leading to more than 1,000 during 2020 and 2021.

Hearing aids accounted for more than 70% of the claims, with an average value of £1,400. Glasses were also lost or broken after customers took them off when masks caused them to steam up.

Home insurance claims involving hot tubs, meanwhile, almost tripled in 2020. Analysis of Aviva’s UK claims data revealed a year-on-year increase of 188%, in relation to accidental damage claims for hot tubs in 2020.

Scenarios included a grass strimmer bursting an inflatable tub, birds pecking holes in a spa cover and an engagement ring ripping a tub lining. Hot tub-related claims were still way above pre-pandemic levels in 2021, but had fallen by 12%, compared to 2020.

Kelly Whittington, property claims director at Aviva, commented: “We’re constantly looking at how claims trends change and evolve, so we can help to protect our customers.”

“We certainly saw a few fluctuations throughout the COVID pandemic. Some of these changes seem to have been related to a particular moment in time, but there are wider behavioural trends, such as hybrid working, which are likely to impact our claims experience in the longer term.”

“Whatever the potential problem, whether it involves a hot-tub or a hearing aid, an iron or an exercise bike, we’d always urge customers to keep a look-out for potential hazards. Hopefully we can help to protect possessions and prevent distressing situations wherever possible.”

Image: Canva
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Mark Dugdale is the editor of Claims Media. Mark welcomes articles, letters or feedback from readers and can be reached via mark.dugdale@barkerbrooks.co.uk