It's dad to the rescue

Article date: 2 April 2004

Women across the country are calling out for theirfather’s help when things go wrong in the home, according toa study released today.

Casting aside girl power, Norwich Union’s ‘HomeIgnorance’ research reveals that nine in ten women areclueless when it comes to practical home emergencies, forcing themto rely on others. And their first port of call is dear old dad– with half of women under 34 relying on their father to savethe day.

And if Dad’s not available, two in five women ask theother man in their life to fix the problem. But today’s‘new man’ openly admits he lacks the skills around thehome of previous generations – less than a third areconfident they could take a home emergency, such as a burst pipe,in hand.

However despite their concerns, one in three ‘have ago’ males would still attempt to sort out the problemthemselves first - admitting in the same breath that they wouldprobably end up having to call for help at a later date at greatemotional and financial cost.

Louise Spear, from Norwich Union, said: "There’s no needto be ashamed that we have lost our practical touch. It’s adifferent world today and men and women have new priorities andexpectations compared to previous generations. Working longerhours, we want to be free to relax and enjoy ourselves in ourleisure time rather than learn how to be practical around thehome."

The research also found that as well as being ignorant in theevent of an emergency, people weren’t taking basicprecautions to prevent home emergencies happening in the firstplace, so Norwich Union has put together a few simple tips to helpyou protect your home:

  • Find the off switch – locate your mains waterstopcock, gas and electricity switches. Try looking under yourkitchen sink, in a downstairs toilet or possibly in the garage.And once you find the switch, check it works - try it outto make sure it does what it’s supposed to
  • Simple maintenance - regularly maintain your guttering,plastering etc. Simple maintenance now will save costly repairs inthe future
  • Err on the side of caution – make sure you doublecheck that appliances are switched off at the socket when youleave your house for a prolonged period of time - but don’tturn supplies off at the mains. Turning your heating off in thewinter could lead to burst pipes
  • Get to know your neighbours – our research showsthat only 4% of us would get our neighbour to check up on ourproperty if we went away. In an emergency, your neighbour could beessential to damage limitation by keeping a spare key and checkingup on your property. If they live in a similar building they maybe able to forewarn you of any problems they have suffered in thepast
  • Don’t get DIY dippy and start knocking out largeholes in your walls without being certain that you know there areno pipes behind the wall. Look at your plugs and sockets, radiatorpipe-work, could the supply be behind the plaster? Check bytapping on the wall and listening for a hollow sound

No one’s home is infallible and so to help homeowners dealwith emergencies, Norwich Union has created a Home Emergencyproduct designed to fill the gap left by some home insurancepolicies which cover resulting damage, but not always the cost ofrepairs for the immediate problem.

Providing a 24-hour helpline, the policy covers a variety ofhome emergencies, including blocked drains, electrical wiringproblems and leaking roofs. Once notified, a reliable tradesmanwill be sent out to do a quality job usually within the sameday.

To find out more about the Home Emergency Cover or to take out apolicy call Norwich Union on 0800 056 2496 or visit the website at:


Media contacts:
Charlotte Ruddlesdin orCharlotte Speedy at QBO Bell Pottinger on 020 7861 2424 Liz Kennettat Norwich Union Press Office on 01603 688 263

Research commissioned by Norwich Union was carried out by TNS onthe 19 March amongst a representative sample of 700 homeowning/buying GB adults.

Notes to editors:

  • Norwich Union is the UK's largest insurer with a market shareof around 14 per cent.
  • With a focus on insurance for individuals and smallbusinesses, Norwich Union insures:
    - one in five households
    - one in seven motor vehicles
    - more than 800,000 businesses
  • Norwich Union products are available through a variety ofdistribution channels including brokers, corporate partners suchas banks and building societies and Norwich Union Direct.
  • Norwich Union’s news releases and a selection of imagesare available on the Aviva internet press centre
  • An ISDN facility is available for studio quality broadcast.Call the press office on 08703 66 68 68
  • For all life & pensions media enquiries call 08703 66 6873
  • For all other media enquiries call 08703 66 68 68

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