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How Friday the 13th affects peoples’ behaviour

13 April 2018

12:05 PM

13 April 2018

12:05 PM

We Brits tend not to be as superstitious as those in some other countries; well at least that’s what I thought. In the States, for example, it’s common practice not to have a 13th floor in hotels, for fear it might bring bad luck. No such thing would happen over here, would it? Surely we are far too sensible to worry about silly superstitions like that? But new research appears to show that we are, in fact, just as superstitious as those over the pond.

Today is Friday 13th – a day that is famously unlucky, if you believe in those kinds of things, and home insurance company Policy Expert has found that people appear to change their habits when the 13th falls on a Friday, and behave in a more careful way. The last nine consecutive Friday-the-thirteenths have all seen a fall in claim costs, while there are also fewer claims made on this date. Back in October, Friday 13th saw the average insurance claims down by £69, while in January 2017, claims fell by £373. The biggest fall recorded by the data, which goes back to 2013, was in June 2014. The average claim cost for this month was £2021, but on Friday 13th June, 2014, claims dropped by £1,341 to just £680.

That doesn’t bode well for me, whose birthday falls on the 13th – though perhaps it’s fortunate that I was born on a Monday, as opposed to a Friday. The research also revealed that it isn’t just dates that Brits are superstitious about. When asked about what they thought might bring them bad luck, 23% said they were wary of walking under ladders, 21%, like Melissa Kite, think breaking a mirror would bring back luck, and 19% would never leave new shoes on the table, for fear it might lead to reprisals. Maybe I ought to be wary of black cats after all!


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