Families missing out on savings by living financially separate lives

Article date: 14 March 2013

  • UK households could save over £350 a year by merging finances 

Over half (57%) of UK households are missing out on savings of over £350 per year by failing to consolidate their finances with family discounted products, new research from Aviva reveals1.

Co-habiting couples are the fastest growing family type in the UK2 yet as we live together longer and get married and have children later in life, fiscally independent, yet committed couples, are missing out on savings by failing to merge their finances.

Aviva spoke to over 2,000 UK adults about their living circumstances and finances and found that couples living together without children are the least likely to take out multi-person policies, with only 27% of couples taking advantage of available discounts. Families who live together, but financially apart are missing out on savings of up to 30% on multi-person policies and services such as multi-car insurance, family railcards and mobile phone contracts.

Big life events such as getting married and having children appear to be prime triggers for families to review their finances and take stock of savings available, with people who have tied the knot most likely to be using the cost-saving policies (married without children: 44%, married with children: 46%).

Dad of 2, Darren Whitlock, 31, from Hertfordshire and wife of 7 years, Emma Whitlock, are a married couple who are reaping the financial rewards after merging their family finances. From insurance policies to mobile phone contracts, Darren and Emma save money just by consolidating their finances with family discounted products. Darren said: “It made sense to consolidate our finances together and take up discounts available for families. The savings we make on an annual basis make a real difference, meaning that we can have more flexibility in what we spend on our children and on our home. Any extra we manage to save goes into our joint savings account as well.”

According to the research, the biggest savings to be had by taking out a joint/multi-person policy are for car and van insurance - where savings are on average £84 per year -  and family railcards, with which families can save up to £99 per year. Mobile phone contracts and sports membership are the areas where people were least likely to claim group discounts – only 22% of people surveyed had joint mobile phone contacts and just 29% had joint gym contracts.

Multi-person savings and typical annual spend 1

Typical savings for multi-person policies
Typical annual spend per household
Multi-person savings available per household
Car/van insurance
Health & Fitness clubs
Family railcard 33%
Mobile phone contracts
Leisure activities
Local sports club membership
Breakdown cover
Typical savings per household:

Commenting on the findings, Heather Smith, director of marketing at Aviva said: “At a time when many families are feeling the squeeze, reviewing finances across the household and consolidating spending to make the most of multi-person discounts could be a simple and effective way to save money.

“In most cases changing your policies or applying for joint contracts is much easier than you think and savings can be substantial.  With Aviva MultiCar there is one set of documents, you have the same renewal date and the majority of our Multicar customers achieve savings of over 20%3. As our circumstances change throughout our lives, everyone should review their financial arrangements regularly to make sure they’re getting the most value for money out of everyday products and services.” 

People can save up to a third3 on their car insurance policy with Aviva MultiCar insurance when adding a second car or van to their policy. For further details visit http://www.aviva.co.uk/multicar-insurance/ 

For more information on insurance direct from Aviva, go to www.aviva.co.uk
Follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/avivauk and find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/AvivaUK
- Ends –

If you are a journalist and would like further information, please contact:

Joey Ng: Hill+Knowlton Strategies
0207 973 5941

Methodology and research methods:

1 Aviva commissioned the Cost of Living Separately Together research with Populus who interviewed 2,013 GB adults online between the 18th and 20th January 2013. Typical savings and annual spend figures calculated by data research and market analysis company, Development Economics, using comprehensive desk research. Researchers at Development Economics reviewed and calculated average savings on policies and multi-person discounts available for services including:

  • car/van insurance - figures calculated using assessment of annual value of policies obtained from British Insurance Premium Index and additional research looking at annual multi-car policy discounts available from more than a dozen leading providers. The quotes obtained for a range of drivers’ ages focusing on average price for a new car and a 3-year old second hand car.
  • mobile phone contracts - survey of typical annual contracts and multi-person discounts available from providers including high street retailers.
  • leisure attractions - assessment of annual family membership deals for a range of UK attractions.
  • health & fitness clubs - assessment of annual adult memberships at national providers and Municipal providers.
  • breakdown cover - quotes from annual breakdown and roadside assist policies and multicar discounts from leading providers.
  • gym membership - a sample survey of annual memberships (single, couple, family) at over a dozen local tennis and golf clubs located across England and Wales.

2 According to ONS data, the number of co-habiting couples has increased from 1.5 million in 1996 to 2.9 million in 2012 http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/mro/news-release/number-of-cohabiting-couples-doubles-since-1996/familiesandhouseholdsnr011112.html

3 85% of MultiCar customers received a discount of 20% or more between  May and October 2012. Discount applied to the cheaper of the two vehicle insurance premiums. All vehicles must be registered at the same address. Discount does not apply to optional extras. We expect 20% of our customers to achieve the maximum saving of 1/3. 
Notes to editors:

Aviva provides insurance, savings and investment products to 43 million customers worldwide.
We are the UK’s largest insurer with over 14 million customers and one of Europe’s leading providers of life and general insurance. We combine strong life insurance, general insurance and asset management businesses under one powerful brand. We are committed to serving our customers well in order to build a stronger, sustainable business, which makes a positive contribution to society, and for which our people are proud to work.
We are ranked as one of the UK’s top ten most valuable brands and Aviva Plc is in the top 10% of socially responsible companies globally in the Dow Jones Sustainability World Index.  In 2011 we invested £5.3m into our UK communities. One in three of our employees were involved in community investment activities which included giving nearly 33,000 hours.
Aviva is working in partnership with Railway Children through the Aviva Street to School programme to get children living or working on UK streets back into everyday life. Find out more at www.aviva.co.uk/street-to-school.
The Aviva media centre at www.aviva.com/media includes company information and a news release archive.
For broadcast-standard video, please visit http://www.aviva.com/media/video/.
Follow us on twitter: www.twitter.com/avivaplc

Back to top