The average bill for a home emergency set uninsured Brits back a staggering £494. This soared to £780 for the 15 per cent of households who were faced with repairing or replacing their boiler.
A new report out today from home emergency experts, Homeserve, has revealed that more than six in ten British homes suffered a home emergency over the last 12 months but eight in ten (79%) had no emergency insurance to cover the unexpected expense.
The research showed that just 19 per cent of households have insurance which covered their emergency - of these; almost half were covered by their home contents insurance (46%) whilst 35 per cent had a separate home emergency policy.
With unpredictable weather conditions in the UK over the last 12 months, many people have experienced additional problems with their property. In the North of England more than one in five (21%) homeowners carried out emergency repairs to their roof and the same amount carried out emergency repairs to their windows and doors - the highest figures in any region.
Inside the home, the research found that repairing or replacing damaged white goods was the most common home emergency, with almost three in ten (28%) forking out for the repair or replacement of a new fridge, washing machine or dishwasher at an average cost of £331.
Commenting on the findings of the research, Jon Florsheim, CEO of Homeserve Membership, said: "Our research shows that, without emergency insurance, repairs around the home can be very costly. At a time when many face escalating costs for other household bills such as mortgage repayments, petrol and energy, people do not want to be surprised with additional costs. We would therefore urge homeowners to ensure they have adequate cover in the event of an emergency."
• The age group most likely to be underinsured are the 35 to 44 year olds. Just 13 per cent of this age group had adequate cover for the home emergency.
• The research also found that one in five households (19%) experienced a plumbing emergency over the last 12 months, with the average home taking a hit of £305 to rectify the emergency.
Average Table 1: costs for repairs
Emergency / Average Emergency Repair Cost
Plumbing / £305
Gas and heating / £568
Electrical / £221
Windows and door locks / £740
Pest infestation and resulting damage / £248
White goods / £331
Roofing / £760
Homeserve offers a wide range of insurance cover for, among other things, plumbing, drains and electrical wiring and pest contamination and handled over 1.2 million home emergencies last year alone. Homeserve's 'complete cover' emergency policy includes issues with heating, plumbing and drainage, water and gas supply pipe, electrics, locks as well as pest contamination, emergency roofing, glazing repairs, plumbing maintenance, all for £324 a year.
• Calculations: Number of homeowners in the UK today: 24,479,439 (Office National Statistics), 63% suffered a home emergency (15,422,046 households). 79% of these households had no insurance (12,183,416). Average cost of an emergency was £494. For 12,183,416 houses, this is a total cost of £6,018,607,984.
• Fieldwork was undertaken in February 2008 by ICM Research
Customer Relations Department
Homeserve Membership Ltd