The consumer habits of a country in lockdown has added fresh risk to a significantly underinsured market. Data from Moveable shows that over 1.5 million people had a shed built, and over 700,000 had a home gym installed, and as these are often not covered under a typical policy, our new pandemic purchases and hobbies risk voiding our insurance policies. Some might also be a fire risk.
Insurer Zurich has warned that outbuilding fires – in sheds, garages, and conservatories – rose by 16% last year compared with 2019. According to the insurer, the popularity of conversions to home offices, gyms and domestic drinks bars increased the fire risk. In total, three-quarters of areas in the UK recorded more fires. Electrical equipment, as well as popular lockdown purchases such as pizza ovens and fire pits, added to the existing fire risks created in gardens by mowers, barbecues, and paint thinners.
This was worsened by a nation rushing to move. Almost a million people purchased a home and moved over the last year, with data from property concierge platform Moveable showing that 12% of Brits rushed this time-consuming and important process. The peripheral fallout is evident; amidst a rush to complete in time for the stamp duty holiday deadline comes a very apparent risk that Brits may overpay due to rash decisions or forget their home insurance entirely. This will likely have added to the 6 million uninsured homes according to Nelson Insurers, and the £266 billion of content and trillions of pounds of property, that is totally unprotected.
Simon Bath, CEO of iPlace Global, creators of home moving concierge service Moveable, comments:
“Such a tough year has encouraged many people to consider their insurance policies, yet the data shows that an incredible amount of risk remains due to those who are uninsured. The new hobbies and fancy gadgets we have accrued over lockdown, as well as our working from home arrangements, have evidently added new dangers.
It is always difficult to know exactly what kind of cover you need and especially at the right price, and the pandemic and the myriad new additions to our homes has only worsened this. Platforms like Moveable, which uses My Protection Guru, can help make sure you’re fully covered – and for the right price.”