We're helping busy people make less mistakes

We know busy people make mistakes. But we wanted to know what kind of mistakes, and when. So we looked into the kinds of claims our customers have experienced. And well, turns out we are more likely to make certain mistakes on the same day, every week*.

Click the day to reveal the mistake. And, how to avoid it.


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Monday Flood

Monday’s the day more Kiwis flood their house.

How to avoid water damage in the home

We all fear our home being damaged by fire, but it’s far more likely to be damaged by water, which makes just as much of a mess and can leave a place uninhabitable.

We analysed 12 months of claims data – 89,608 car, home and contents claims made between July 2019 to June 2020 – for The Mistake Report. It found that Mondays are the most common day for household water damage to happen; the most common mistake associated with water damage is leaving a tap running unattended.

No question as to why – Monday is the hectic start to the week, when we jump back into our routine after two precious days of rest. If you’re going to rush out the door with mismatched socks, half a cup of coffee and a bathroom tap running, chances are it’ll be on a Monday.

Not to worry, there are clever devices available to help you avoid this common problem – and its pricey aftermath.

A flood prevention plug fits into any standard bath, basin or kitchen sink plughole. As the water reaches a pre-set depth, a pressure plate in the plug is released and excess water drains away, preventing a flood.

This is an automatic process triggered by the pressure of the water bearing down on the plug. The water level is then maintained until the taps are turned off.

As the plugs are reasonably priced, it’s easy to swap out all the standard plugs in your home as a security measure.

You might also want to consider placing an overflow alarm under your sinks and near your bath. These run on batteries and look similar to a smoke alarm. They operate like an electric circuit; when water touches the sensor, it completes the circuit and sets off an alarm. Most models will also send a warning email or text message to your phone. Easy!
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Tuesday Car

Tuesday’s the day more Kiwis have a ding in the supermarket car park.

How to avoid car park crashes

A supermarket car park is a hazardous spot. Lots of distracted people coming and going, trolleys on the loose, vehicles being parked. No wonder it’s a hotspot for vehicle damage.

We analysed 12 months of claims data – 89,608 car, home and contents claims made between July 2019 to June 2020 – for The Mistake Report. It found that you are most likely to damage your car in a supermarket car park on a Tuesday.

Of those Tuesday prangs, 39 per cent involved multiple vehicles, including bumper-to-bumper accidents, misjudging spacing and reversing into the path of another vehicle.

This is stressful for everyone involved, so do your bit to avoid car park prangs by following these steps:

  1. Slow down. A car park is a place where you need to have your wits about you. Take it slow so that if there are any sudden developments – someone steps in front of your car, for example – you have time to react and avoid an accident.
  2. Check your mirrors. Make sure they are correctly positioned, so you have an optimal view of your surroundings.
  3. Maintain your distance from other vehicles.
  4. You may not be on the road, but the road rules should still be applied. This means staying in your lane, waiting your turn, and indicating so other drivers know your intentions.
  5. Keep an eye out for trolleys on the move. They can do a surprising amount of damage.
  6. Further to the above: avoid parking next to the trolley bays. This is where people tend to lose control of their trolleys.
  7. Similarly, avoid parking beside pillars and walls. Sure, you may be an excellent parker, but who needs an additional challenge when they have popped out for milk and bread?
  8. Park away from the supermarket entrance. Everyone wants a convenient park, but these spots are the busiest. Drive past them and find a less hectic part of the car park.
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Wednesday wing mirror

Wednesday’s the day more Kiwis lose a wing mirror.

How to avoid damage to your wing mirrors

Wing mirrors are incredibly useful – and incredibly vulnerable. Sitting out there on the sides of your vehicle, they are easily knocked by passing cars and people.

We analysed 12 months of claims data – 89,608 car, home and contents claims made between July 2019 to June 2020 – for The Mistake Report. It found that you are most likely to damage your wing mirrors on a Wednesday.

In 26 per cent of these wing-mirror incidents, damage was caused by drivers getting too close to stationary objects such as barriers, poles and parked cars.

In 19 per cent of incidents, multiple moving vehicles were involved.

Not paying attention when driving, parking or reversing can easily result in a damaged wing mirror, so – while it may sound obvious – make sure that you drive carefully at all times.

But what else can you do to protect those precious mirrors?

  1. Consider parking at a distance from other cars, to minimise the chances your wing mirrors will be damaged. This may mean choosing a park that is further from the entrance.
  2. When you choose a park, make sure there is enough space between you and the next vehicle.
  3. When you park, get in the habit of rotating your wing mirrors inwards to protect them.
  4. Try not to let children play with your mirrors, as tempting as they are. It is too easy to harm the electrics inside.
  5. When you go through a car wash, rotate your wing mirrors inwards to avoid damage from the machinery.
  6. Finally, take care when you clean the mirrors by hand – the glass is delicate.
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Thursday electronic

Thursday's the day more Kiwis fry their electronics.

How to avoid damage to your electronics

Is there any household problem that is more of a fizzer than a circuit overload?

You are enjoying some downtime in front of the TV, sitting next to an electric fan. Someone plugs in the vacuum cleaner to deal with a mess made by the dog and – boom. Now the fridge has stopped cooling and the lights are out too.

We analysed 12 months of claims data – 89,608 car, home and contents claims made between July 2019 to June 2020 – for The Mistake Report. It found that the day you are most likely to suffer damage to your electronic devices is a Thursday.

The most common type of mistake resulting in electronics damage is an overloaded circuit. That means the amount of electricity running through the circuit is more than it can handle.

The good news is that your house is unlikely to burn down, because a breaker will trip or a fuse will blow. The bad news is you might accidentally fry an electrical device.

So what can you do to prevent this common mistake?

First, take a look at what you are asking your system to cope with. If you don’t know the amperage of each appliance you have plugged into the mains (and honestly, who does?) there is a useful rule of thumb.

The larger the appliance, the more amperage it likely needs. So, a big-screen TV or standing speakers will use more electricity than a bedside lamp.

To avoid overloading your circuits, redistribute your electrical devices, so they are shared out among other circuits in your home.

Remember not to turn on too many devices at once. If you are about to use the vacuum cleaner, switch off the TV and the music – you won’t be able to hear them anyway.

Finally, if you have a circuit that gets particularly heavy use, such as in the garage where you use power tools, get an electrician to install a new, higher amp circuit.
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Friday postbox

Friday's the day more Kiwis back into something.

How to avoid reversing mistakes

It’s utterly avoidable, but many of us have done it: reversed our vehicle into a fixed or moving object and caused a pricey prang. It’s never fun, but there are ways to safeguard yourself.

It turns out that Friday is the most common day for a reversing accident. We know this because we analysed 12 months of claims data – 89,608 car, home and contents claims made between July 2019 to June 2020 – for The Mistake Report.

Of those reversing incidents, 34 per cent involved multiple vehicles, including bumper to bumper accidents, misjudgments of space, and reversing out at the same time.

But a hefty 27 per cent were self-inflicted accidents, commonly caused by misjudging distances to walls, poles and gates. Eeek.

So how do you avoid a reversing accident? Here are some useful pointers:

  1. Know your blind spots – every car has them. To pinpoint where yours are, get a friend to stand behind and to the side of your car and move slowly backwards until you can no longer see them in your mirrors. This is your blind spot. Repeat on the other side. Make sure your windows are down so you can safely communicate with your friend throughout.
  2. Mirrors don’t give you the full view – so don’t rely on them alone. To see as much as possible, you need to turn your body and head and look through the rear window.
  3. Walk around the whole vehicle before you jump in, so you know what barriers there might be. Make this a habit.
  4. If you’re not confident about your backing skills, ask a passenger to jump out and spot you.
  5. Always look both ways just before you push the accelerator.
  6. Check for children and pets. They are unpredictable and can move quickly.
  7. Reverse slowly so you will have more time to stop if you need to.
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Saturday glasses

Saturday's the day more Kiwis lose or break their glasses.

Keeping track of your specs

If you wear glasses, you know how easy it is to put them down somewhere and walk away.

We analysed 12 months of claims data – 89,608 car, home and contents claims made between July 2019 to June 2020 – for The Mistake Report. It found that Saturday is the day you’re most likely to misplace your specs when you’re out and about.

To avoid this annoyance, you want to keep your glasses handy – yet safe. But how can you keep track of your glasses more easily?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.

If you’re going to leave your glasses somewhere, make a note in your phone to help you locate them later on. When you’re not wearing them, use your glasses case – keeping them safe and secure is what it’s designed for.

Constantly swapping between spectacles and sunglasses can be annoying, why not combine the two? You can get transition lenses which tint your glasses in direct sunlight, or prescription sunglasses so you can actually see what you’re doing when outside in the sun.

For those who like the convenience of the classic eyeglasses chain, there is the necklace loop, a minimal leather or fabric cord with a circular metal centre from which to hang your glasses.

Another subtle option is a magnetic holder that attaches to your clothing. The holder clips onto your top and your glasses hang from it. You can get see-through ones that are virtually invisible, or decorative ones that look like a smart pin.

For lovers of accessories, there is the D-link necklace, an oversized chain necklace with a D-shaped link from which to hang your glasses. These come in a range of colours and finishes and work equally well for sunglasses.

Lastly, there is the reworked granny chain, a fashion-forward take on the classic. These require confidence and a certain personal style but they are undeniably cool right now. Devotees tend to wear them with the chain hanging to the front, to best display the detail. Popular options include strings of faux pearls, intricately beaded chains and polished mixed metals.

They’re so good, you’ll want to wear glasses even if you don’t need them.
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Sunday forgetting

Sunday's the day more Kiwis forget important things, like their handbrake.

Useful tips for remembering your handbrake

It should be one of those reflex things; you find a place to park your car, you put on the handbrake and then you switch off the engine. Of course, we all know it doesn’t always go like that.

We analysed 12 months of claims data – 89,608 car, home and contents claims made between July 2019 to June 2020 – for The Mistake Report.

It turns out Sunday is when you are most likely to forget something relating to your car – and in 43 per cent of those cases, the thing we’ve forgotten to do is put on the handbrake.

This kind of mistake is especially annoying because we all know better, we just forget. But there is an easy-to-remember system for parking right every time – no mistakes.

When you park your vehicle, follow the technique known as HIT.

H is for handbrake on. Use that sucker. If you are driving an older car, that means pulling the lever between the driver and front passenger seat. Other cars will have a handbrake button situated between the seats or on the dashboard, or the parking brake will be operated using a foot pedal.

I is for vehicle in gear. If you drive a manual, leave it in gear – reverse if you are facing downhill and first gear if facing uphill.

T is for turn your wheels. Move your steering wheel so your wheels are pointing towards the kerb. That way if you do roll, it will be into the kerb and not down the road.

And if you just can’t remember to use the handbrake, put a warning sticker on the dashboard. It could save you money and a red face.
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State E-book introduction

Why we make mistakes - and how to avoid them.

Busy people have to juggle priorities to get through their day-to-day – and this means even the most focused person will drop the ball every now and then. Mistakes can range from the annoying (losing your glasses, treading on your laptop or dinging your vehicle in the car park) to the more serious, such as leaving your home vulnerable to thieves by forgetting to close windows and lock doors.

Whatever the mishap, it interrupts the flow of life, often causes stress and inconvenience, and, even if covered by insurance, usually costs some of your hard-earned money if there is an excess amount in your policy. But mistakes happen, right? That’s just part of life, especially a busy life.

We commissioned research to find out when we are most likely to make common mistakes leading to an insurance claim – things like leaving a tap running or reversing the car into an obstacle. The Mistake Report examined 89,608 car, home and contents claims covering the period from July 2019 to June 2020, to reveal patterns around when and why we make these blunders.

Find out more

*Based on State claims data 1 July 2019-30 June 2020.

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