With approximately 8 million new units sold in the UK every year, TVs are the modern fireplace of the British family. Especially at this time of year when we all gather to watch the Monarch’s speech, classic festive movies and much-loved Christmas specials. But new research reveals your TV is most at risk at Christmas.
Our data experts took a deep dive into the most common claims across these merry months and revealed a whopping 72% of all claims were for TV damage.
|Claims across the festive period by item (Nov-Jan 2021/22)|
|Laptops and Tablets||8%|
|Sofa and soft furnishings||5%|
|Watches and Jewellery||2%|
Based on previous claims, our experts predict an estimated 262,425 TV sets will be destroyed or damaged during the festive months across the UK this year. But fear not!
Here is a breakdown of the leading causes of Brit’s TV fiascos and a few top tips on how to keep your precious set safe from a Christmas catastrophe. Remember, a TV is for life, not just for Xmas, and you wouldn’t want to miss out on the first ever King’s TV speech, would you?
33% of TV claims: Toddler trouble
Between Christmas decorations, trips to Santa, gifts and extra visits from friends and family,
Christmas is an exciting time for most, but for small children, it’s simply magical. As lovely as this is, when the excitement builds, toddlers can struggle with managing their feelings and behaviour, often causing them to act out. This sometimes leads to extra mess and accidental damage.
One of the most effective ways to keep your TV away from tiny toddler hands is to fix it onto the wall using a bracket or TV mount. If you cannot mount it to the wall, you can use safety straps to secure the TV to a unit, acting as an ‘anti-tip’ mechanism. Be sure to secure the cables and cords with cable ties and keep them out of reach or tucked away.
19% of TV claims: Pet destruction
Although Christmas can be stimulating for pets, it can also be quite stressful. When the Christmas holidays set in and the week’s structure changes slightly for us, it also tends to change for our pets, disrupting what they are used to. Perhaps your dogs get fewer walks than they are used to, or your cats are getting less attention due to all the Christmas planning and celebrations. Not to mention the extra stimulation from all the new lights, noise, decorations and new faces.
All of this upheaval can cause an emergence of disruptive or anxious behaviour, which can lead to things being knocked over or damaged.
To minimise any pet problems with the TV this year, ensuring there isn’t an easy path to access it is a great start. Again, mounting the TV to the wall is the perfect solution. In addition, giving them a safe space to retreat to, away from all the Christmas chaos if they want to, is a great way to keep them calm.
16% of TV claims: Festive furniture rearranging and clashing decorations
Decorating the house for Christmas usually involves extra items that we add to our spaces to give them that extra festive feel. Christmas trees are the most popular addition, with 77% of Brits in the UK saying that they put a tree up every year. And, due to the amount of space they generally take up, rearranging furniture is required to ensure everything fits.
One claimant said, “I was moving furniture around to fit the new Christmas tree in when the sofa hit the TV, making it fall to the ground. Now the TV screen has a broken corner and a black spot of dead pixels in middle.”
To avoid knocking the TV off the unit with the bottom of your Christmas tree or while moving the sofa, coffee table or any other furniture, it helps to have a plan of action before you start. Start with moving the TV out of the space and temporarily keeping it somewhere safe. Putting it on a bed with the screen faced down or propping it screen first against a wall are two great options for this. You can move your furniture around as you see fit and place the TV back into the space when it’s complete.
13% of TV claims: Boozy spills and Egg Nog sploshes
Liquid damage is another cause for the claims we see on TVs at this time of year. With approximately 61% of Brits saying that they typically drink more alcohol than they usually would over the festive period, it’s no wonder we see this trend at this time of year.
More people overindulging in the Christmas spirit (literally) means an increased risk of spills, and if you add a TV into the mix, we have a recipe for disaster.
The best way to avoid your TV being affected by liquid damage this Christmas is to make your TV spaces (especially your main living room area) a no-go zone for alcohol. This may seem dramatic, but it’s very easy to forget that you need to be extra careful of spillages (especially when you’ve had a few).
10% of TV claims: Party havoc
There is something about Christmas that makes you want to be with your nearest and dearest. It’s a time to eat, drink and be merry, which is why two-thirds of us plan to get together for gatherings and parties this year after a long COVID hiatus. Let’s face it, we all deserve a bit of Christmas cheer.
However, having an increased number of people in your home increases the probability of an accident involving one or more of your valuables. And for many people, this valuable will be… the TV. *queue horror scream*
One claimant said, “I had a Christmas party last night and one of my friends accidentally pushed the TV over on the stand breaking the screen. The TV turns on, but the display is completely broken.”
The best way to avoid your TV falling victim to party havoc, is to hold your gathering in a space cleared of all valuables, including moving your TV into a safe space. If your TV is mounted to the wall, you can push it as flat as possible with a screen protector and a dust sheet for extra protection. A sign on top of the sheet might be a good idea to bring awareness to the fragility of what’s underneath and encourage people to steer clear of it. Or kitchen party anyone?
6% of TV claims: Theft
With most parties, you tend to get some ‘plus ones’, especially at this time of year, when everyone seeks to be extra social. Unfortunately, there is an Ebenezer Scrooge or two with every merry gathering full of festive cheer. Approximately 10% of UK festive party hosts have claimed to have had uninvited or even unwanted guests turn up to one of their parties.
In all the fun and frivolity of Christmas (not to mention the alcohol), it can be hard to track the movement of people through your home, and thieves may see an opportunity to lift some of your valuables, including your TV.
The number of burglaries in the UK also tends to spike in the winter months, as robbers seize the opportunity to break into homes and capitalise on the expensive gifts underneath the tree.
To minimise this risk, you can lock your TV to the wall using a TV anti-theft security kit or a locking wall mount. These things won’t stop burglars altogether but will undoubtedly stop opportunistic thieves from leaving your party with a high-value goodie bag you didn’t bargain for.
3% of TV claims: Plug overload
Christmas usually means extra electrical equipment to plug in, whether that be Christmas tree fairy lights, electric heaters or new gadgets and gizmos that have been bought as new gifts for the occasion.
By overloading plugs and extension leads, you risk overheating the circuit, compromising all of the devices plugged into the same power source. This could lead to irreversible damage to the TV’s circuit board and even an electrical fire.
You can minimise this risk by checking and adhering to the maximum current rating on the extension lead, avoiding using all available plugs at once and steering away from adding double sockets to extension leads and wall sockets. You can also purchase circuit breaker plugs to detect any issues with the circuit and protect them from overloading.
And if you follow all of our guidance, your TV will survive Christmas, and you can watch Home Alone for the 35th time as a family, the way it should be.
Getting contents insurance is the best way to protect your TV against Christmas carnage, including toddler terror, pet damage, theft and more. You can cover your TV with us here, but we don’t just cover TVs; we can cover all your prized possessions.
If you’re super careful (and follow these guidelines), you could get money back…
At SO-SURE, community = cashback rewards. Think of it as a piggy bank for careful customers. The more friends and family you connect with, the more money goes into the piggy bank. And then, if no one needs it, you all get it back. You can learn more about our Reward Pot here.