Britain's £2.5 billion bill on Easter DIY

Article date: 4 April 2001

BRITONS will spend more than £2.5 billion* on DIYthis Easter, a new study reveals today.

And the population will spend more than 100 millionhours over the Easter period doing painting, decorating and otherhome improvements, according to the independent study commissionedby the UK's largest insurer Norwich Union.

Two in three householders carry out DIY around thehome, with most people doing it to save money or for their ownenjoyment.

The survey also shows:

  • One in three householders is planning to do DIY around thehouse this Easter
  • DIY enthusiasts will fork out an average of £399 - and spendaround 17 hours - doing improvements to their home over the Easterbreak
  • Two in five people who do DIY admit it results in argumentsbetween themselves and their partners
  • A fifth of people who do home improvements have injuredthemselves as a result - and one in 20 says their DIY efforts havedone more harm than good to their home.

Nick Pierson, head of household products forNorwich Union, said: "Many DIY enthusiasts will make the most ofthe Easter break by making some kind of improvement to theirhomes.

"Some do it simply to save money. Others for theirown enjoyment, perhaps inspired by the many DIY and lifestyleprogrammes currently on the television.

"One of the real pitfalls DIY enthusiasts face isaccidentally damaging their home or property when doing DIY. Onlyhalf of people have this cover but it is relatively inexpensive -not much for DIY peace of mind. Additionally, if people buy newfurnishings or items as part of their DIY work, we strongly advisethey check their new purchases are covered by their insurer."

To help people protect themselves this Easter,Norwich Union's top six DIY tips for homeowners are:

  • Take care when using heat - especially if you are working in aconfined space, like a loft. Avoid using blowlamps andblowtorches, as many fires start this way
  • If it's a big job, you may want to consider adding accidentaldamage cover to your buildings and contents insurancepolicies
  • Be careful to cover furniture and carpets when painting, asthey may only be covered by your insurance if you have accidentaldamage cover
  • If you've made a vast number of improvements to your home andbought new things, check your insurance is still adequate. You mayneed to increase the level of cover to allow for the work or newpurchases
  • If you're unsure of how to do a DIY job, call in the experts.It's better to get it done properly, particularly if you aren'tcovered for faulty workmanship
  • Be careful, new Government figures show there are 99,000injuries every year in DIY-related activities, of which 40,000involve ladders.

For more details on Norwich Union insuranceservices contact Norwich Union Direct on 0800 888 222 or yourinsurance broker.

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Notes to editors

* Source: Office for National Statistics Population TrendsSpring 2000 and Norwich Union independent research (as below)

Norwich Union commissioned Taylor Nelson Sofres to conduct anindependent survey of more than 1,000 adults. The survey wascarried out in February 2001.

Norwich Union Insurance is the UK's largest general insurer -insuring one in five households.

CGU plc and Norwich Union plc merged on 30 May 2000 to createCGNU plc, the UK's largest insurance group and one of the top-fiveinsurers in Europe with substantial positions in other marketsaround the world, making it the world's sixth largest insurer basedon gross worldwide premiums.

CGNU's principal business activities are long-term savings, fundmanagement and general insurance, with worldwide premium income andretail investment sales from ongoing business of over £27 billionand assets under management of more than £210 billion.

From October 2000, the combined life and pensions, generalinsurance and retail fund management businesses in the UK operateunder the Norwich Union brand, while the institutional investmentbusiness operates under the Morley Fund Management brand.

For further information contact Jane Wheeler or MatthewBuchanan at QBO on 020 7379 0304 or Liz Nicholson/Lucy Haughey atNorwich Union on 08703 666868

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