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Lockdown blues: Suncorp survey finds home is where the hurt is

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Lockdown workouts at home and people trying to emulate sporting heroes are causing a hit to insurance companies.

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A report from Suncorp’s AAMI found almost half (44 per cent) of those working out at home had sustained an injury or damaged property and that accidental property claims now represented almost a fifth (18 per cent) of all new national home claims from the past year. 

A similar phenomenon occurred in 2006 when the Wii sports console was released. It led to a rise in personal injuries as people played the various games available. It also led to a rise in TV breakages as the Wii handset was hurled across loungerooms.

But none were reported to have tried to mimic Australian bowler Mitchell Starc. One of the AAMI claims came from a household where a child was trying to emulate Mitchell Starc’s bowling technique – with a snooker ball – while watching the Ashes. “He hit the sticks… if you consider the home television the wicket,’’ Suncorp said.

The report found the highest number of claims were for broken windows, followed by smashed walls, damaged floors and furniture and sporting equipment.

Suncorp said Australians had flocked to online training and about half of those in a survey were found to be participating in at-home workouts (59 per cent) and many said they would continue at least once a week.

The AAMI research found South Australians were the most prone to mishaps, with nearly a third (29 per cent) of the state’s home claims being for accidental damage.

Other sport-related claims were caused by a rogue soccer ball snapping a laptop in two when it was mistaken for the goal, a customer giving their new golf cart a spin before hitting the green and driving it into a wall, and a policyholder’s fandom going to the next level breaking the TV by cheering a bit too hard during a football game.

AAMI’s Craig White said it seemed as though Australians were slipping, tripping, smashing, and crashing their way through the pandemic.

He advised people to take precautions like removing potential trip hazards or keeping water away from electricals.

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