Britain's got average

Article date: 2 June 2010

  • The Smiths still exist in snapshot of 2010.

Our political and economic lives may be uncertain, but when it comes to home life it’s good to know that some things are as traditional as they ever were.

A study of 10 years worth of data* from Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, reveals the most common British house name is the very conventional “The Cottage” and it is occupied by the “Smiths” who reside in the “High Street.”

There are two cars in the drive, one of which is a Ford Fiesta and the most popular holiday destination is still good old Spain.

But some more modern-day traits are creeping in – while we may no longer be a nation of smokers, most of us don’t exercise and dinners are mainly eaten in front of Eastenders on a 32-inch wide telly.

Home sweet home
The Aviva data shows that Mr and Mrs Smith are most likely to live in a three-bedroom detached house, built around the turn of the 20th Century, nestled between their neighbours Mr and Mrs Jones at “Rose Cottage” and Mr and Mrs Williams at “The Bungalow”.

Mr and Mrs Smith…
Don’t smoke, own two cars, one of which is a Ford Fiesta, have one bathroom and their most popular holiday destination is Spain. 

Their contents and claims
The average homeowner values their prized possessions at £28,000 – including furnishings, clothes and personal belongings.  But however prized they are, the average person is still rather clumsy with nearly 50% of contents claims due to accidental damage, costing on average over £350.

The top five items replaced in the home after being stolen, lost or damaged** are:

  1. 32“ Toshiba television
  2. Samsung Laptop
  3. Sony Playstation 3 Slim 120GB Console
  4. Samsung Tocco Lite mobile
  5. Xbox 360 Elite Console.

Mrs Smith is more likely to make a household claim than Mr Smith, making a claim every 8.5 years compared to just over nine years.

Additional research with 2,000 people across the UK** also shines a spotlight on who we’re living next door to and what they’re up to.

Rise and shine
Brits are a nation of early risers with 50% of us getting up for work between 6am and 7am and 50% of us commuting by car.

Workers that lunch
Mr and Mrs Average tend not to go out for air at lunchtime, resulting in 27% heading to the canteen, kitchen or quiet area for a snack and over 20% eating sandwiches at their desk. Over 7% of people don’t stop for lunch at all.


Leisurely lifestyles
The average person loves spending time at home with over a third of Brits (33%) spending on average over 2,000 hours at home a year, excluding sleep time. 

Outside the home one in three Brits sees friends or family once a week and clothes shops and the pub are also visited at least once every seven days.

Exercise though is not part of that routine – 71% of Brits don’t go to the gym, cycle, jog or swim even once a week.

Grubs up
Mr and Mrs Average settle down for the evening with dinner in front of the television (52%), with Eastenders being the most popular (9%) television programme on Brits’ TV screens.

Then it’s lights out, with the average person’s head hitting the pillow at 11pm.

“With a new form of government in Number 10 and the economic situation still in turmoil it obviously feels as if everything is changing around us,” says David Tyers, director of marketing at Aviva.

“So in some ways it’s comforting to know that over the past decade some things have remained very much the same.

“Who would have thought that in the days of loft extensions and exotic holiday destinations the good old fashioned 'Cottage' would still be the most common house name and Spain still top of our holiday list?

“As an insurer we are always looking at ways of improving and tailoring our home deals for customers, so we will be regularly reviewing our data to ensure we have the right products to suit our customers’ changing lifestyles.”

For more information on home insurance direct from Aviva go to


For further information please contact:
Fiona Robinson, Frank PR on 0207 693 6959 or or Rebecca Holmes in Aviva’s UK Insurance press office on 01603 685177/ 07800 690731

Notes to editors:

* Aviva UK Direct General Insurance data from 2000 to 2009 inclusive

** The top five items, replaced in the home after being stolen, lost or damaged, based on Aviva claims statistics from October 2009 to March 2010.

*** Additional research was carried out by OnePoll with 2000 respondents between, 13-14 May 2010.

Aviva is the world’s fifth largest* insurance group, serving 53 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

Aviva's main business activities are long-term savings, fund management and general insurance, with worldwide total sales of £45.1 billion and funds under management of £379 billion at 31 December 2009. 

We are the largest insurance services provider in the UK and one of the leading providers of life and pensions products in Europe.  

The Aviva media centre at includes images, company and product information and a news release archive

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* based on gross worldwide premiums at 31 December 2008


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