‘Living apart’ the new living together

Nia Williams

September 30, 2010

The findings from Halifax Home Insurance highlight the rise of ‘live-apart-ners’, with one in twenty long-term couples now residing in different homes – equivalent to a million relationships. This marks a 40% rise over the last ten years as couples become more comfortable with living apart but staying together.

Of these, a significant fraction (18%) is aged 35 and over, suggesting that it’s not just the young who fear a loss of independence should they abandon their own digs.

And the primary reason for adopting this living situation also differs by age. Younger couples mainly fear rushing in to living together, while over 35 year olds are most likely to resist a life under one roof because they have too many joint possessions to fit into either property.

Yet ironically, couples adopting this lifestyle are putting themselves at significant risk of burglary, as they leave their respective homes unoccupied for 40 evening hours per week while staying at their partner’s house.

As a result, couples who commute between each others’ homes are three times more likely to be victims of burglary than their cohabiting counterparts.

And with the average forced break-in costing homeowners almost £2,700, the insurer is urging couples to ensure their properties are secure when leaving them unoccupied for extended periods to prevent burglaries, which it estimates has cost live-apart couples more than £2.6 billion.

Martyn Foulds, senior claims manager at Halifax Home Insurance commented: “A valued sense of independence appears to be the main reason that couples are now taking longer to move in together, however we’d advise people to make sure their own properties are fully secure if regularly staying away from home.

“Installing a burglar alarm, security light, or fixing a timer to the lights in your home are all good security measures for deterring burglars while you’re out overnight.”

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