Over one quarter of British households don’t have any form of contents cover, according to a study from the Association of British Insurers (ABI).

In its ‘Britain Uncovered’ study, the ABI notes that 7.5 million of the country’s 27 million households would have zero protection in the event of a burglary, fire, flood or accidental damage. That works out to a staggering £266 billion of unprotected stuff. With many families feeling financially squeezed, contents cover clearly isn’t a high priority for many.

“The value of possessions owned by the average household will come as a shock to many” says Mark Shepherd, Head of Property at the ABI. “But with the list of ‘must haves’, such as electrical gadgets, ever expanding it can be easy to under-estimate the worth of your contents. These figures further highlight what can be at stake for many who have no contents insurance. With a wide variety of policies available, including no-frills policies tailored to people on limited budgets, insuring your possessions can mean that if the worst happens you are not left counting the cost for years to come.”

While buildings insurance is compulsory for homeowners and landlords, contents insurance isn’t – but that doesn’t make it any less important. If you imagine you could pick up your house, turn it upside down and shake it, anything that falls out is classed as your contents – along with floor and wall coverings. You could probably cope without a TV for a couple of weeks if you had to, but what would you do if you lost all your clothes, large appliances, furniture and everything else? People seem to underestimate just how much stuff they own, and don’t consider how financially devastating it would be if it was all suddenly taken away.

The study also revealed that:

– The average household owns around £35,000 worth of ‘stuff’
– That’s higher than the average UK salary, which is £27,000
– That works out to nearly £1 trillion – that’s 1,000,000,000,000 – of possessions across the country

The ABI notes that contents cover can cost as little as £3 per week!

Categories: Personal Finance