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Whats in a Name?

The name may resonate with happiness conjuring the belief that no misfortune can befall her. But women called Joy are the unluckiest people in Britain and endure more break-ins, water leaks and household calamities than the average Joe or even Josephine.

A survey of insurance claims by first names has revealed that mishaps are more likely to happen to a man named Sean than one christened Frederick and that a Ruth will have less accidents than a Tracey.

While in Britain the three unluckiest names are all female, namely Joy, Diana and Tracey, Scotland bucks the national trend with men the most likely to suffer accidents and claim on their insurance policies.

These latter-day Jonahs now go by the names of Ian, David and Andrew.

A study of 200,000 insurance claims across Britain by Churchill, the insurance company, has revealed the most accident-prone names in the country. Martin Scott, the head of home insurance for Churchill explained: "Our data does show that some names suffer much worse than others, but location, age and type of home are often better indicators."

According to the study, the luckiest names are Frederick, Ruth and Tim, however this only extends to the home and does not, as Tim Henman this week discovered, extend onto the sports field. Names such as Iris and Arthur are also likely to keep out of harm's way and, as a result, have a similar low number of home incidents to report.

The investigation has thrown up a number of curious, but perhaps explainable trends. Men who suffer the biggest financial mishaps and so then make expensive claims on their insurance tend to have "upper-class" names such as Nigel, Phillip and Christopher. Low-cost claims are made by men called Vincent.

On the surface, the link between a name and a greater frequency for mishap appears untenable, however Christine Webber, a psychotherapist and life coach, believes that psychology does have an important part to play.

"It may be that Joy tries to live up to her name. The likelihood is that she is energetic and enthusiastic in all that she does. This may lead her to be clumsy and careless, knocking things over, leaving taps running and forgetting to shut windows.

"On the other hand Ruth tends to be gentle and quietly generous, she is willing to accept the blame.

"Her spare time will be based at home, so decreasing the risk of burglary and more likely to take care with her possessions."

Joy Nielson, 48, a sales rep from Ayrshire, is unsure if her name and "slight clumsiness" could be linked. As a child she remembers not liking her name.

"If you introduced yourself and were anything other than beaming with happiness people would say: 'Cheer up, you're Joy'.
"It did get rather annoying." While she doesn't consider herself unlucky in life, she admits to clumsiness.
Recently she dropped an iron on her carpet, which meant she had to claim on her insurance to have it replaced. She is also in the process of preparing a claim for an expensive lamp which she accidentally knocked over. "I had had it for 20 years and was really annoyed.

"It was sitting on the side table and I just turned round and knocked if off."

The reason men's names are the unluckiest in Scotland while women's take the honour in the rest of Britain could be that men are more likely to have their names on insurance policies in Scotland, according to Cynthia McVey, a lecturer in psychology at Caledonia University.

Ian Love, 43, a process operator from Lanarkshire believes his namesakes, now branded the unluckiest people in Scotland, are being unfairly treated. "I think this is a bit rich.

"I've only ever made the one claim and that was when one of the kids threw a stone through the bathroom window. It seems unfair to me."

The research also revealed the names of people with the most costly home disasters.

Dorothys' claims are the most expensive to put right, while Kathryns' are the most frugal.

Source = Names that lack lucky white heather by STEPHEN MCGINTY.
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