New Year Fever

Scots New Year parties more accident-prone?

Thu Dec 29, 2005 11:52 AM ET

By Madeline Thomas

LONDON
(Reuters) – New Year parties thrown in Scotland by young adults are
most likely to end with a bang — and a bill — one leading insurer
said Thursday.

Around 10 million Britons are expected to head to
New Year’s Eve parties this week at the homes of families and friends
and a quarter of revelers are likely to witness something being broken
or badly damaged, the insurer said.

“We believe the average New
Year party claim costs around 750 pounds but we have dealt with
incidents at teenage parties that have cost much more,” Cornhill claims
manager Harry Rule said in a statement.

One teenage party in Bristol got so out of hand that the claim for theft and malicious damage came to 5,000 pounds, he said.

A
survey of revelers conducted by the insurer showed that location was as
important as age in determining how likely accidents were to happen.

Parties in Scotland were the most accident-prone whilst those hosted in the southwest were relatively staid affairs.

The
insurer said its more memorable New Year party claims included the
Glasgow man who danced so vigorously that he lost his balance and fell
through the patio doors of the host’s house. The claim came to 1,500
pounds. Luckily for the man in question, only his pride was badly
injured.

Barclays said a fifth of New Year party hosts ended up
replacing crockery and glasses after their parties and 1 in 20 have had
to replace electronic gadgets such as televisions and stereos. That
comes after they have spent an average 200 pounds to welcome in the New
Year in the first place.

Not many have had to replace an entire
ceiling however, although that is what happened to one beleaguered host
in Newcastle after a reveler decided it would be a good idea to hang
from the ceiling light. The whole lot came down and cost 800 pounds to
repair.

“We would strongly recommend that you move as many of
your possessions out of the way as possible,” Rule said. “Anything can
happen when New Year party fever takes hold.”

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