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Halifax: Washing machines absorb £427 million each year

03 July 2007
In 2006, Britain destroyed £427 million worth of money and goods by putting them through the wash, including MP3 players, mobile phones, and cash, research from Halifax Home Insurance has found.

Mobile phones to the value of £251 million, £163 million in cash (£95 million by men, and £68 million by women) and £13 million of MP3 players were accidentally put in the washing machine last year, causing damage not only to the items themselves, but also to the washing machine and causing further harm with leaking water.

Breakage of washing machines and the consequent water leakage causes £2.25 billion of damage a year, according to Halifax’s findings – one in four put metal hair grips through the wash, 17% put in keys and 14% accidentally washed their jewellery. Halifax estimates that the water lost this way would be enough to provide the daily water requirements of more than 430,000 households.

Vicky Emmott, senior manager of underwriting at Halifax Home Insurance, said:

“Leaking washing machines have the potential to cause thousands of pounds worth of damage to peoples’ homes.

“Aside from the obvious advice that people should check their pockets, householders can reduce their financial risk by ensuring they have adequate home insurance which will not only cover them for the cost of replacing any washed items, but also any subsequent water damage to the home.

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