Date: 27th September 2011
September 27th 2011 - The average Briton has £4,209 worth of artwork, £3,500 of gold and £6,138 of stamps stashed away at home, according to analysis by the Moneysupermarket.com Monitor.
After the widespread financial doom and gloom of the last four years, the news that British people are sitting on a small fortune comes as a welcome boost to the nation’s coffers and suggests that people are wisely protecting their valuable possessions.
The Monitor analysed nearly three million home insurance quotes made between June 2010 and May 2011, before revealing results that show the average British households contain paintings and works of art worth £4,209, as well as £3,500 of gold items, coin and medal collections worth over £4,400, and stamp collections worth £6,138.
Gold’s tendency to hold its value better than currency may be behind the decision of so many British people to make sure that their gold is secure. The results produced by The Monitor could contribute to a very different picture of personal finance in the UK to that painted by economists over the four-year recession period.
While it is estimated that there are four times as many art buyers now as there were during the art market boom of the early 90s, much of the artwork gathering dust in British homes is likely to have been passed down through the generations of families rather than newly purchased by keen-eyed individuals.
However, incentives such as the Own Art scheme, set up by the Arts Council have given more people the opportunity to purchase works that they take an interest in, either for their own enjoyment or as an investment for the future.
Julie Fisher, head of home insurance at MoneySupermarket, said: “This ‘hoarding’ is an interesting phenomenon seemingly borne out of our current difficult economic times. Perhaps many are shunning more traditional savings routes, buying gold and antiques rather stashing their money in the bank. It seems we are all looking at our possessions and scrutinising their proper value, keeping and insuring things that we may have thrown away or sold.
The most frequently insured items in Spring 2011, according to The Monitor, are laptops (42 per cent), bicycles (22 per cent), and jewellery (19 per cent). The analysis revealed the average value of ‘specified items’ on people’s home insurance policies stood at £2,799 in Spring 2011 (compared to £4,288 in the Channel Islands, £3,682 in Greater London, and £3,118 in the South East).
Julie Fisher continued: “The era of ‘Rule Britannia’ is alive and well but whether people have inherited valuable heirlooms, or have scoured shops and markets to unearth valuable treasures, it’s crucial to understand how underestimating the overall value of home contents could leave you underinsured and severely out of pocket.”
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