- £46,000 = the average value of possessions insured on home contents policies by GoCompare Home Insurance customers2.
- Purchases of high-value items including TVs, PC and gaming equipment and kitchen appliances have soared during lockdown3.
- GoCompare outlines the key things to look for when buying home and contents insurance.
GoCompare Home Insurance is urging people to think about how financially well-protected the centre of their lockdown universe is.
The pandemic has forced most people to spend more time at home than ever before. Homes have become places of work and education. They are the safe spaces where we exercise and relax, eat, and entertain ourselves. To adapt their homes to living in lockdown some people have bought new furniture, technology, leisure, or exercise equipment, or used the time to make improvements to their home or garden.
Retail data for the initial weeks of lockdown shows big increases in the sales of a range of products to help make life, work, and learning at home easier – with many high-value purchases made.
Home entertainment, the need to stay connected and, work and learn from home drove the sales of new technology including TVs, PC equipment, and webcams. In the UK, the sale of TVs increased by 31%, while gaming consoles saw a 259% increase.
The sale of freezers soared by 317% to allow people to store more food and the sale of kitchen equipment to make cooking easier also rose significantly. For example, sales of food stand mixers increased by 219%.
However, a quarter of UK households have no contents insurance at all.
Lee Griffin, founder, and CEO of GoCompare commented, “Even as lockdown restrictions start to ease, our homes are likely to remain the centre of our universe for a good while yet. To make life easier, many people have made new purchases which add to the value of their home’s contents, while others are using their extra free time at home to carry out home improvements.
“With people staying at home to stop the spread of the virus, some might think they don’t need insurance against theft because their home isn’t left unoccupied, nor are they out and about with their possessions. While the risk of theft may be reduced, more time spent at home increases other risks such as accidental damage to property. So, it’s important to take time to consider how you would afford to replace your belongings or repair damage to your property if you were faced with a household disaster.
Lee Griffin concluded, “Spending time at home gives us an ideal opportunity to assess what we have and make sure our home and belongings are adequately protected. Because our possessions are accumulated over time, many people are shocked by how much it would cost them to replace them, if they were lost or destroyed by a fire, or flood.”
Home insurance is divided into two parts, buildings insurance – which covers the rebuilding costs for the structure of your home and, contents insurance which gives financial protection for your possessions. Buildings and contents insurance can be bought together or as separate policies.
GoCompare Home Insurance has compiled a list of eight things to consider when buying home and contents cover:
- Shop around – insurers offer slightly different cover and price differently for each household, so the only way to be sure you are getting a good deal is to shop around to compare cover and price.
- Rebuild costs - buildings insurance considers the cost to rebuild an identical property on the land you own. The cost to rebuild isn’t the same as the market value of your home, so use a rebuilding cost calculator to get it right.
- Value of contents - walk around your home, making a list of your possessions – including carpets and curtains. Estimate how much each possession costs.
- Accidental damage – accidental damage is one of the top five most common claims, but cover isn’t always included as standard. Check what cover is available.
- Cover for individual items – in addition to your total contents cover, expensive single items, like jewellery, watches, or gadgets may need additional cover. Check your policy limits for individual items, and if need be, get an up-to-date valuation for your items.
- Gardens and outbuildings – different policies cover gardens in different ways, so don’t assume your outbuildings, garden furniture, and expensive plants are covered.
- Cover away from the home – as lockdown eases, hopefully, we will spend more time away from the home. So, don’t forget to check what cover you have for your possessions outside the home.
- Bike cover – bike sales have soared during lockdown, but often cover for bikes isn’t included as standard within home policies. Check how bikes are covered and make sure you have cover for your bike away from the home.
- Never accept a home insurance renewal – home insurance needs to be renewed each year, which is a good time to check your cover is adequate and see if you can get a better deal with a different insurer. Customers can save up to £102 on their home buildings and contents cover by shopping around with GoCompare Home Insurance4.
For more information on calculating the value of your belongings visit: https://www.gocompare.com/home-insurance/contents-calculator/.
For further information please contact:
Anders Nilsson or Louisa Marsden at GoCompare on 01633 654 054 / 01633 655 132
Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845
Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare
Notes to editors
1Source: Association of British Insurers: ‘UK Insurance and Long-Term Savings Key Facts’ published December 2019
2The average value of possessions insured on home contents insurance policies purchased via GoCompare between 1 Jan-30 April 2020 was £46,009.
3Gfk (Growth from knowledge) Global Technical Consumer Goods Market – UK data (22 April 2020) https://www.gfk.com/en-gb/press/consumers-in-europe-turn-to-tech-to-work-eat-and-entertain-at-home-during-lockdown
4Price savings are based on independent research by Consumer Intelligence, conducted between 1 February to 29 February 2020: It compared 33 insurers from our panel and found 51% could save up to £102.63 with GoCompare.com on their buildings and contents insurance.
GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.
GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.
When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.
GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).