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Friday the 13th – for Helvetia a day like any other

For many, tomorrow, Friday 13 October will be considered an unlucky day. Helvetia Insurance sought possible evidence for this widespread assumption on the basis of an analysis of Swiss claims in the fields of vehicle and property damage from the past ten years. The results are surprising: whereas there are certainly indications of particularly dangerous days, Fridays or the 13th of a month do not play any major role.
12.10.2023 | Media releases
Helvetia examined over 3.1 million claims in the fields of vehicle and property damage occurring between 1 January 2013 and 31 December 2022 to calculate calendar-based frequency. This corresponds to a statistical average of around 851 claims per average weekday.
The claims frequency on a Friday the 13th is close to the statistical average
On Friday the 13th, a date that occurs 17 times in the period under review, there was an average number of 857 registered property claims, which is just six cases above the statistical average. Based on these facts, the fear of a presumed "unlucky day" is therefore not justified.
Summer months with the highest claims frequency?
Helvetia specialists also wanted to know on which days the most accidents are likely to happen. In order to find this out, several factors had to be considered and combined. The evaluation showed that the number of reported claims was significantly higher in the summer months – June, July and August – than in the snowy winter months from December to March.
According to Adrian Kollegger, Director Non-Life Insurance at Helvetia Switzerland, this seemingly surprising finding is easy to understand: "In the winter months when the road conditions are sometimes uncertain, some drivers leave their vehicles at home and take public transport. On the other hand, more people are out in their cars on long summer days. Moreover, the risk of break-ins, theft and accidents tends to increase during the summer holiday season. However, the key factor is that in the warm summer months there are more claims due to weather-related incidents such as hail or high water."
Which are the most dangerous days of the year?
If one analyses the dates and days of the week in addition to the months, Helvetia's analysis shows more claims reported at the beginning and end of a month. The day most prone to claims is Monday, with an average of just under 1,100. Even if this figure probably includes some claims that occurred over the weekend and which were only reported on the next working day, the first and last Mondays in June, July and August are frequently among the days in the year when most claims are reported.
The days with the most claims in the 2013-2023 period were 1 January and 1 August, averaging over 2,000 claims. Adrian Kollegger's slightly tongue-in-cheek hint is therefore: "Don't celebrate the debunking of the Friday 13th myth by letting off fireworks or consuming copious amounts of alcohol."

Contact information
Eric Zeller
Communication Manager / Media Spokesperson
Phone: +41 58 280 50 33