- A new study from AXA UK reveals the UK public takes 21 unnecessary risks around the home each week, with seven in 10 people taking at least one risk a day
- More than two fifths of Brits fail to protect their homes against adverse weather conditions
- Despite over a third living in areas prone to flooding and other extreme weather events, almost half are unsure what they are covered for under their home insurance policy
New research from AXA UK has revealed that Brits take 21 unnecessary risks around the home each week – including leaving the house while the oven is on and smoking cigarettes in bed.
AXA UK’s study, which surveyed 2,000 adults, revealed nearly a fifth (18 per cent) admitted to risking electrocution by turning on light switches while still wet after coming out of the shower.
And more than a third (34 per cent) regularly risk slipping and falling on their wet bathroom floor.
Other potential gambles people take include leaving their windows unlocked when they head out for the day (26 per cent) or standing on a rickety chair to catch a spider on the ceiling (23 per cent).
And of those who have garden furniture, 18 per cent neglect to secure it ahead of stormy conditions.
Other dicey moves include jumping the last few steps on the staircase (23 per cent) and not fitting smoke alarms or making sure the existing ones worked (12 per cent).
A resounding seven in 10 people indulge in at least one risk a day at home, whilst nearly a third can think of a time when they have taken a chance and it has backfired on them.
AXA UK Retail CEO Tara Foley commented:
“You never know what’s around the corner, and it’s worrying to see a high proportion of homeowners regularly making decisions that can be hazardous at home.
Risks surrounding our homes are so common that people often don’t consider the dangers they present, but that doesn’t mean Brits should let their guard down and allow themselves to be caught out by easily preventable disasters.
It is important that people take precautions around the home to protect themselves from accidents which could end up being costly and even dangerous.”
The study also found a daredevil 40 per cent of those polled would consider themselves risk-takers in their day-to-day lives.
And 51 per cent admitted to taking risks without considering the consequences of their actions first.
Beyond wet floors and unlocked doors, a third extend their risk-taking behaviour into their finances. Of these financial risk-takers, 53 per cent have dipped into their savings to buy non-essential items, and 35 per cent have put off renewing their home or contents insurance.
The study, conducted by OnePoll.com, also found 24 per centare not currently protected by a home or contents insurance policy – despite 38 per cent living in areas susceptible to flooding or other extreme weather events.
And even of those who do maintain a policy, 46 per cent are unsure what their home or contents insurance covers them against.
While 42 per cent don’t carry out basic checks and maintenance around their home to prepare for adverse weather conditions, with 33 per cent believing taking countermeasures to prevent disaster is too costly.
However, AXA UK has found that the average costs of repairing flood and storm damage could significantly outweigh the cost of preventing disaster, with flood damage repairs costing an average of £36,000 and storm damage costing over £1,000 to repair.
AXA UK Retail CEO Tara Foley commented:
“The cost-of-living crisis has made it even more crucial for people to protect what matters most to them.
With extreme weather events looking likely to increase in the UK, it is important that people prepare their homes against floods and storms and they check their insurance cover.
Investing in home maintenance, such as checking roof tiles ahead of a storm and flood-proofing your property, can help stop damage from happening as a result of adverse weather conditions.
Disaster can strike in all forms, especially during winter months, but having the right home insurance cover in place can also provide a vital safety net in case the worst happens.
We encourage people to carry out regular checks and maintenance on their homes and that they make sure their home insurance policy covers them for any eventuality. Not doing so can leave people vulnerable to having to spend significant amounts of money on repairing home damage or replacing valuables.”
Top 5 Most Common Risks at Home
- Walked on a wet floor
- Put a washing machine on and left the house
- Left the mains water on when going on holiday
- Left windows unlocked
- Left curtains open when going on holiday
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Authored by AXA