Welcome to the blame game

  • 18.3 million Brits admit to having an accident in the home, with a quarter (24 per cent) blaming someone else for their mishap
  • Average cost to repair an accident is £70.55
  • 24 per cent who damaged items in the home and blamed someone else, attributed the accident to an ‘Act of God’ or unexplained phenomenon

New research from Direct Line Home Insurance1 reveals over 18.32 million Brits have suffered an accident in their home, with over a third (36 per cent) admitting household items were broken or damaged as result. Despite Brits being accident prone, they struggle to admit responsibility when it comes to household mishaps. A quarter (24 per cent) of those who had accidentally broken or damaged items in their home, tried to blame someone else for their actions.

Partners are the most likely culprits to be blamed, with 30 per cent of those who have blamed someone else placing the blame on their other half. The research highlights friends are also at risk, with 28 per cent of blamers putting the blame on their friends.

Interestingly, 24 per cent of blamers use the excuse that the incident was down to an ‘Act of God’ or unexplained phenomena such as a ghost when they break or damage something accidentally. Pets and children aren’t free from blame either; with 22 per cent of blamers pointing the finger at their beloved animal and 19 per cent at a child aged 4 to 12.

Table one: Top five culprits blamed by people who have damaged or broken something in the home and blamed someone else

Individual Percentage
Partner 30%
Friend 28%
Act of god / unexplained phenomena 24%
Pets 22%
Children aged between 4 – 12 years old 19%

Source: Direct Line Home Insurance 2016

According to the research, the most common types of accidents in the home are damages to walls or scratched paintwork (21 per cent), spilled alcohol/other drinks on the carpet (14 per cent) and accidental damages to furniture (7 per cent).

The main reasons Brits are so hesitant to admit blame is embarrassment (15 per cent), fear of the consequences (8 per cent) and the belief they could get away with it (7 per cent). Knowing the accident would be costly to fix worries 6 per cent of Brits, with the average cost to repair an accident coming in at £70.55. Men tend to encounter accidents that are more expensive to repair (£70.85) compared to their female counterparts (£62.95).

Rebecca Clapham, head of household products at Direct Line: “When you’re attempting DIY, looking after the kids or merely having friends over, it’s incredibly easy and unintentional to encounter accidents in the home, some of which can be costly to fix.

“Our research shows people feel embarrassed or unable to divulge the truth on how the accident occurred, even when it’s often out of their control. Having the reassurance of quality home insurance with accidental damage cover included means that you are protected when accidents occur, and the necessary repairs can be made swiftly.”

Notes to Editor

1 Opinium Research interviewed a UK nationally representative sample of 2,000 people, between 28th June and 1st June 2016.

2 A third (36 per cent) of the population (51,339,000) have suffered an accident in the home in the last twelve months. This equates to 18,276,684

For further information, please contact:

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides motor, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England 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.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 246 3761 or visiting www.directline.com.

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