The Money Shot is, on balance, a pretty rational weekly personal finance email. Sure, it isn’t averse to offering salutations to a lonely magpie in the morning. And what’s a bit of salt tossed over the shoulder between friends? And, all right, you may occasionally see it hopping over cracks in the pavement to avert certain disaster - but hey, who doesn’t?
But let’s be straight for a moment. It was with a sense of real trepidation that the ‘Shot ventured out onto the roads this morning, what with it being Friday 13th. And it appears that these fears are justified, if data from insurer Aviva is anything to go by.
Indeed, the Paul Whitehouse-endorsed insurance giant has released a hot salvo of claims data from the past 10 years, and it seems that bad stuff does indeed ‘go down’ on Friday 13th.
Spookily, the company reports a 13% spike in motor collision claims on Friday 13th compared to other days in the same month, whether it’s summer or winter.
And it turns out that there’s an actual name for fear of Friday 13th – friggatriskaidekaphobia. It might look as if your cat has walked across your keyboard, but, rest assured, it’s a real word.
Heather Smith, marketing director of general insurance at Aviva, plugged: “Friday the 13th is traditionally a superstitious day for many, but it’s spooky to see motor claims rise by an ‘unlucky’ 13%. While we don’t wish to cause a bout of friggatriskaidekaphobia among the population, we hope these figures will help encourage people to take extra care today, whatever they might be doing."
Still, it’s not all ominous news. According to flights specialist Kayak, it costs an average of £52 less to take to the air on a Friday 13th compared to a typical Friday, because of superstitious passengers being reluctant to get on a plane. So there you go.
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Short change – money news in brief
Mark Carney , the head of the Bank of England, dropped the strongest hint yet that interest rates might rise before the end of the year when speaking at a ritzy do at Mansion House last night.
On the subject of the Bank of England, George Osborne is to announce plans for it to be able to cap mortgage lending.
The Financial Ombudsman has advised passengers who have had to cancel holidays because of delays in getting passports that they may be able to claim on their travel insurance – even if their insurer tells them otherwise. However, the Association of British Insurers maintains that "policies are not designed to cover cancellation due to delays in obtaining a passport".
Energy watchdog Ofgem has revealed that over three million households are in debt because of rising energy bills.
On Covered mag this week
Motoring fines could rocket under new proposals from the government. Abbie Laughton-Coles brings you up to speed.
Emily Bater fired up her customised St George iPod and listened to the best (and worst) of England songs.
The Green Deal has evolved, but will this mean more people will invest in it?
Here’s a new entry for the ever-expanding directory of embarrassing car insurance claims from around the world.
A trio of passionate young lovers from China were forced to call time on a steamy in-car ‘session’ when the vehicle they were in rolled down a hill and crashed.
Virile young buck Cheng Yeh was engaged in a romp with two ladies he’d met in a club, but accidentally kicked the handbrake of his car, causing it to roll down into a ditch.
As comical as the incident sounds, one of the women was lucky to escape alive, and had to be cut out of the car.
The driver and passengers will now be investigated for lewd acts in a public place. Best keep it indoors next time…
Join us NEXT WEEK for another THRILLING instalment of THE MONEY SHOT.