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Friday 13th – Our favourite day of the year


Released 12/04/18

If people were as careful every day as they are on Friday 13th, we would be very happy. 

The date is typically associated with bad luck and misfortune. But Friday 13th October 2017 was a safer day when compared to the following Friday by nearly 900 claims.

New Zealanders may have let their superstitions get the better of them, and were more cautious around the house and on the road.

There were, however, eight injury claims caused by cats, and 23 injuries resulting from accidents on ladders.

Cat care

Cats can be unpredictable and a trip hazard if you’re not watching your step. On Friday 13 October 2017, we received cat-related claims for trips, bites, and scratches.

Black cats are thought to bring different sorts of luck. It’s considered bad luck for a black cat to cross your path. But sailors thought having a black cat on their ship would bring good luck on their voyage.

The colour of the cats did not appear to be a contributing factor to the claims. 

Going up (not under) a ladder

Securing a ladder on an even surface can help avoid awkward falls or slips. Missing a step, slips, and scrapes were common ladder injuries. We received no claims, for bad luck or otherwise, as a result of walking under a ladder.

The superstition of walking under a ladder comes from the gallows of medieval times. It was believed that if someone walked under a ladder, they would surely face misfortune.

To undo the bad luck of walking under a ladder, walk back through the ladder, crossing your fingers until you see a dog. 

For a more practical approach, see our brochure on using a ladder safely.

Tips for using ladders safely

Think safety first every day

A careful, common-sense approach to household hazards is the best way to approach Friday 13th – and every other day.

A guide to keeping family, friends and whānau safe at home

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