Over a quarter (28%) of households have no contents insurance, leaving possessions worth over £266bn unprotected and at risk, ABI’s ‘Britain Uncovered’ study found.
The average cost of home contents insurance is £141, £3 a week. And the weekly cost of a combined buildings and contents policy works out at less than £6 a week.
Mark Shepherd, head of property at the ABI, said: “The value of possessions owned by the average household will come as a shock to many. But with the list of ‘must haves’, such as electrical gadgets, ever expanding it can be easy to under-estimate the worth of your contents.
“These figures further highlight what can be at stake for many who have no contents insurance. With a wide variety of policies available, including no-frills policies tailored to people on limited budgets, insuring your possessions can mean that if the worst happens you are not left counting the cost for years to come.”
“And make sure that when your policy is due for renewal that you review the value of your possessions to ensure that you are adequately covered.”
The average amount of possessions owned is £35,000, more than the average annual UK salary of £27,000
Georgie Frost, consumer advocate at GoCompare, said: “Unlike buildings insurance, which is compulsory with a mortgage, contents cover is completely optional and for many, particularly those in their 20s and 30s, getting it doesn’t appear to be a priority.
“When you consider that for one in seven private renters half their pay packet goes straight to their landlord, it’s not a surprise people are looking at where they can cut their out-goings.
“Could you afford to replace everything in the event of a burglary or severe damage, such as after a fire or flood? For most of us the answer is no.”
The figures will feature in the ABI’s The State of the Market report that will be published at the ABI’s annual conference on 27 February.
Frost added: “Good quality contents insurance can be pretty inexpensive too but make sure the cover is right for you, don’t just head straight for the cheapest policy on offer.
“Consider whether you need accidental damage protection, cover for your items outside of the home – particularly useful for bikes, gadgets and jewellery – and check if you already have cover elsewhere first, such as through a packaged bank account or from your phone provider, for example.
“Shopping around to compare prices and cover levels is easy, and free, so you may as well have a look around to see if it’s something worth your while to invest in.”