Brits Hoard Antiques, Gold and Rare Objects as Recession Continues to Bite

Sep 19, 2011, 04:00 ET from

CHESTER, England, September 19, 2011 /PRNewswire/ --


The average British home has stashed away £3,555 worth of gold, medal collections worth almost £4,500 and stamp collections worth over £6,000

Brits are filling their homes with valuable old, rare and unusual possessions as recession continues to bite, according to the Monitor. The Monitor, which has analysed almost three million home insurance quotes between June 2010 and May 2011 shows that British households on average are currently insuring:

  • over £3,500 of gold items (a 10 per cent increase on last year);
  • coin and medal collections worth over £4,400 each;
  • stamp collections worth a staggering £6,138;
  • paintings and works of art worth £4,209;
  • furs worth £2,819;
  • and nearly £3,500 of antiques.

Interestingly, Brits are also insuring on average £3,619 of 'curios' which are rare and intriguing objects which they keep in the home. (For the full breakdown please see notes to editors).

Julie Fisher, head of home insurance at MoneySupermarket, said: "This 'hoarding' is an interesting phenomenon seemingly borne out of our current difficult economic times. Perhaps many are shunning more traditional savings routes, buying gold and antiques rather stashing their money in the bank. It seems we are all looking at our possessions and scrutinising their proper value, keeping and insuring things that we may have thrown away or sold.

"Also, with the price of gold hitting close to a staggering high of $1,900[*]an ounce, it's interesting that many homes in Britain are holding onto their gold, rather than selling it for cash as many have done in the past."

Julie Fisher continued: "The era of 'Rule Britannia' is alive and well but whether people have inherited valuable heirlooms, or have scoured shops and markets to unearth valuable retro treasures, it's crucial to understand how underestimating the overall value of home contents could leave you underinsured and severely out of pocket."

Data from the MoneySupermarket Monitor reveals the most frequently insured individual items by homeowners, in Spring 2011, are laptops (42 per cent), bicycles (22 per cent), and jewellery (19 per cent), and also reveals the average value of 'specified items' on people's home insurance policies stood at £2,799 in Spring 2011 (compared to £4,288 in the Channel Islands, £3,682 in Greater London, and £3,118 in the South East).

The monitor also found that…

  • Buildings and contents insurance decreased in price by 0.4 per cent from June 2010 to May 2011 with the average annual premium now at £152.44;
  • Homeowners in Jersey have seen the biggest decrease to the cost of their home insurance premiums;
  • Claims made on buildings insurance are dominated by 'escape of water', while 'theft' and 'vandalism' dominate claims made on contents cover.

Notes to editors:

Julie Fisher is available for additional interviews on request.

Data is based on 2,957,505 home insurance quotes.

Named possessions (and value insured in Spring 2011):

  • Antiques: £3,496
  • Articles of gold: £3,555    
  • Articles of precious metals  £3,044
  • Articles of silver  £3,285
  • Coin collection: £4,708
  • Curios: £3,619    
  • Furs: £2,819
  • Jewellery: £3,187
  • Medal collection: £4,473    
  • Painting / Works of art £4,209    
  • Stamp collection: £6,138
  • Watches £2,988


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