Garlic-scented insurance giant AXA takes a dim view of people leaving their homes. Not being at home represents an indefensible dereliction of the householder’s sacred duty to prevent losses accruing to their home insurance providers. Having friends over is almost as bad. Things get out of hand. Stuff gets broken or damaged. It’s a nightmare basically.

Pausing to contemplate the year ahead, AXA’s got itself in a bit of a panic and put out a press release proclaiming its pessimistic prediction that the impending 12-month period could see record home insurance claims. The biggest cloud on AXA’s household insurance risk horizon is of course the dreaded 2012 Olympics.

But then there’s also the chill winds of the Diamond Jubbly and Euro 2012 to be braced against – and possibly some real wind as well for that matter – and the miserable British weather generally – frozen pipes, that sort of thing – people not leaving their central heating on when they are away – and the rubbish state of the economy driving feckless oiks to raid and pilfer other people’s property on a greater scale than ever.

Let’s face it: 2012’s not going to be a picnic for anyone. And just supposing any picnicking is involved, policyholders should first ensure that all doors and windows are securely secured, put some stickers in the latter, buy a big fierce dog (so long as it’s properly house-trained and doesn’t chew the furniture) and install a reputable alarm system.

Having people over to watch the Olympics, Jubbly, Footie or whatever should be avoided wherever possible. AXA is painfully aware from historical claims data amassed at its top secret Centre de Claims Data Historique hidden deep below the French Alps near Bourg-St-Maurice that accidental damage soars when friends and families gather.

Christmas Day 2011, for example, saw a 14% increase in daily losses reported to the insurer, and New Year’s Day a staggering 78%. AXA somehow knows that exactly 49% of the population will gather for the Olympics and Euro 2012, whilst a mere 40% will bother to celebrate the Jubbly – still enough to allow burglars to take advantage of distraction or domestic absence to pounce for major swag nabbage.

AXA Personal Lines head of household claims Christine Matthews said she “would urge people everywhere across the UK to think about what they can do to avoid the stress and potential financial loss of a burglary or accident around the home.” Bankstone News acted promptly to minimise the stress and potential financial loss AXA faces by moving its home insurance to another insurer.

If Bankstone News were someone like David Cameron or Michael Winner we’d probably say something offensively patronising like “Calm down, Dear. It might never happen.” But we’re not. So we won’t. Obviously.


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