A HomeServe survey has revealed that millions of UK homeowners are concerned about unexpected costs hitting strained family budgets this winter.
According to the 2,000 homeowners polled in HomeServe’s
“Unexpected Costs of Winter” survey, unexpected costs topping this year’s list of concerns are boiler breakdown (chosen by 36% of those polled), car breakdown (32%), frozen or burst pipes (27%), appliance breakdowns (23%) and plumbing problems (21%). Storm damage (18%) and unplanned energy bill hikes (13%) also featured highly in the survey.
Greg Reed, HomeServe’s chief marketing officer, said:
“It’s not surprising that typical home emergencies feature so highly on the list of concerns this winter. The survey shows that people are having to make some tough financial choices, and we are on hand to help them wherever we can.”
To coincide with the survey, HomeServe has launched a new interactive Seasonal House – available by visiting: http://www.homeserve.com/help-advice/seasonalhouse – which highlights potential problems in the home this winter and offers a range of useful tips for UK homeowners and landlords.
“There are many simple steps people can take to protect their homes in the weeks and months leading up to the peak of winter,” added Greg.
“By taking care of a few things now, homeowners and landlords can limit their chances of facing potentially more expensive or unexpected costs later on.”
Millions of UK homeowners are believed to have experienced at least one unexpected cost in 2014 (a total of 64% of those polled) and almost three in ten (29%) had problems paying for it. The research also reveals a stark generational gap, with almost half of 18-24 year olds (49%) struggling to fund their unexpected costs, compared to just eight per cent of over 65s.
Of those polled, almost two thirds had to dip into seasonal savings or pay by credit card (37% and 30% respectively) to cover the costs. Surprisingly, only 12% had a policy or insurance to cover the expense, with many turning to borrowing from friends or family, overdraftts, loans, or payday loans.
If hit with an unexpected cost of £250 this winter, almost half suggest they would turn to credit cards or borrowing from family or friends (40% and nine per cent respectively) and, if the unexpected cost rose to £1,000, this would rise to 42% and 13% respectively.