The Handbags and the manbags: Home insurance vital on Britain's streets

26 August 2008 / by Rachael Stiles
The average value of items that each Brit carries around with them is £972, which is put at risk every time they step outside the door, especially if they do not have home insurance which covers personal possessions.

According to Zurich's 2008 Walking Wealthy Survey, Brits carry around a total value of £44billion every day, making them an easy target for the country's opportunistic muggers who spy an iPod here or a new mobile phone there which takes their fancy.

Compared to the 2006 study, when Brits carried around personal items worth an average £851, they now take items with an average value 14 per cent higher, accounted for by the increased availability of expensive gadgets and designer handbags.

Zurich puts this rise in value down to consumers needing to buy the latest 'must have' technology, such as Blackberrys and Apple iPhones, contributing to the 13 per cent of consumers who said they now carry more expensive things around with them than this time last year.

Despite hauling around such a treasure trove of expensive possessions, Britons give little thought to the actual cost of such items, Zurich found, and how much it would cost to replace them if they were lost or stolen.

More than half of respondents underestimate the total value of the possessions they take out with them, while 74 per cent are unaware of how much their belongings cost. Most people underestimated the value by almost £400, and a quarter was shocked to discover the true value of their handbags and manbags.

Women are more likely to carry higher value items around, with the average handbag holding £1,032 worth of belongings compared to £828 for men.

Even though they carry around such a high number of expensive possessions without a second though, Brits are blasé when it comes to making sure they are protected by home insurance when they're out and about, the survey discovered.

Almost a third of people have no idea whether their belongings would be covered by their home contents insurance, and more than a quarter admitted that they don't have any form of personal possessions insurance for their treasured gadgets.

Mike Quinton, managing director for Direct & Partnerships at Zurich said, "The majority of people in the UK are not aware of the real value of the belongings they carry on them. We all need to be vigilant and make sure we're discreet with these expensive items to avoid being targeted by muggers, especially during the summer when people often become complacent while relaxing in parks or on the beach with friends and family."

© Fair Investment Company Ltd