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People are more likely to insure their houses than their spouses

5th July 2012 Print

Over a third of people will insure the contents of their homes before they insure their lives, according to new research from Zurich.

The new research - part of Zurich's ‘Big Decisions' study looking at decision-making habits in the UK - shows that over a third of people (37%) have home contents insurance, but no life assurance.

And only just over one in three (38%) actually have life insurance.

Of those surveyed:

Nearly three quarters (73%) have home contents insurance
Over two thirds (67%) have comprehensive car insurance
Over half have building insurance (58%)
38% of people have life assurance
33% of people have travel insurance

This is despite the fact that life cover is perceived to be the most important type of insurance (23%) when compared to building, car, travel and home contents cover.

One in five (20%) believe that comprehensive car insurance is the next important insurance priority and only 16% consider building insurance to be a must-have.

Phil Brown, Zurich's Head of Protection and Underwriting says: "Although more people thought that life cover should be the highest priority in terms of having insurance, it only ranks fourth in the cover that people actually buy.  

"Without life insurance, the devastation felt when a loved one dies can closely be followed by financial devastation when the family are unable to afford to live their current lifestyle.  For many, selling a family home soon after the death of spouse is a harsh reality."

In terms of regions, 33% of Welsh people thought that having life insurance should be top of their priority lists, closely followed by those living in Scotland at 30%.  Only 16% of Londoners thought that life cover was a top priority for them. 

When buying insurance, most people decide to shop around to find the best cover (53%), nearly half say they shop around for the cheapest cover (45%) and 16% always go for a brand they trust.