RESEARCH: The biggest fashion crime of all may not be what you expect, as new research from MORE TH>N, released just in time for London Fashion Week, reveals how many people haven't got adequate cover for their most cherished fashion items
People often look back at old photographs of themselves and think “what was I wearing?”. However, if you happen to be a 30-year-old woman, or a man aged 36, you’re far less likely to be snapped making these embarrassing fashion faux pas.
New research by home insurer MORE TH>N has revealed that 30 and 36 are the precise ages when women and men experience their style ‘coming of age’ – boasting clothes, shoes and jewellery that are more valuable and more fashionable than at any other age, together with a more complete sense of style confidence.
Realise the true worth of your wardrobe
Two thousand men and women were surveyed as part of a campaign to make Britons more aware of the true value of their style items and the consequences of not valuing these appropriately as part of their insurance cover.
The research* revealed that a woman aged 30 owns, on average, 212 style items totaling £7,658 – making her wardrobe more valuable at this age than at any other time in her life.
Among her 'style items' are 166 items of clothing – including seven high-fashion outfits (£2,399), seven pairs of designer shoes (£2,086) and 24 pieces of jewellery (£2,800).
Gents, on the other hand, are relatively late bloomers, not hitting their style stride until the age of 36, at which point they own an average of £8,868 worth of style, including 182 items of clothing, designer shoes, watches, bags and jewellery.
Peak style comes in your thirties
What’s more, the women polled by MORE TH>N agreed with the assertion that 30 is a woman’s typical age of peak style confidence. Indeed, for women aged 31–50, when asked what age they believed they went through their style coming of age, the big 'three-oh' was the average age returned when all responses were analysed.
Lending further weight to the notion that people have a fashion ‘peak’ in their thirties, the results of MORE TH>N's research also show that as both men and women continue to age the value of their wardrobes gradually decreases, along with the number of designer clothes, shoes and bags they own.
Indeed, for a woman the research shows a 26% decrease (£1,981) in overall value and a 70% decrease in designer items owned between the ages of 30 and 50.
For men, the value plunge is even more pronounced, dropping by 46% / £4,105 over the same 20 year age period.
62% of people don't have adequate cover for the content of their wardrobes
Although women of 30 and men of 36 may be able to boast having the most valuable and assertive senses of style, they also have the most to lose if they don’t appropriately insure their style contents. That makes underinsurance the big fashion crime committed by men and women of all ages all over the country.
Despite one in three (30%) men and women of all ages citing style items as the most precious contents in their home, only 38% have adequately valued these items as part of their home insurance policy.
More worryingly, 21% have not included any style items when valuing their home contents for insurance purposes.
A further 15% have no contents insurance whatsoever – putting them at great risk should the worst happen.
London Fashion week is a good reminder to check that your home insurance policy covers all your valuables – including high fashion items
The consequences of underinsuring possessions would be clear in the event of a fire, flood or theft, with Britons potentially unable to recover items lost in these traumatic episodes.
With one in ten (10%) of those surveyed claiming to have had clothes, handbags, jewellery or shoes destroyed or lost due to a home disaster or theft, MORE TH>N is urging households everywhere to ensure their contents are correctly valued and covered.
This is especially important given that 40% of those surveyed said they had individual style possessions worth over £1,000 – items that are particularly targeted by professional thieves and would need to be specifically listed on an insurance policy to be covered.
Graham Nicholls, head of home insurance at MORE TH>N, said:
“While all eyes may be on London Fashion Week, it’s important people spend as much time appropriately valuing their style items as they do keeping up with newest trends.
“Our research shows that when it comes to insuring items of style, many people either forget entirely, or significantly undervalue these possessions. However, jewellery, designer clothes, shoes and handbags can all be very high worth items that are highly prized by thieves and at great risk of damage from fires and floods.
“We’re urging people to take the time to get all of their possessions correctly valued and recorded when they take out an insurance policy and to keep those values up to date as time goes on.”
MORE TH>N's five tips for correctly valuing home contents
1. Half (49%) of all women and men in the UK have no written or photographic record of their personal belongings. It is important homeowners create and regularly update a detailed photographic itinerary of all their home possessions, including things they wouldn’t normally think to include. An itinerary can be created as a simple document on a computer or there are a number of apps that make the task straightforward.
2. Wherever possible keep proof of purchase, not only to aid a claim, but to help you value your items correctly.
3. If you store photographs of items on a mobile phone, tablet or computer, make sure you have a backup of these images somewhere safe – be that on a hard drive or in a cloud-based storage service. After all, your gadgets are just as likely to fall victim to a fire, flood or theft as your clothes and jewellery are.
4. Some valuable items can change in value depending on external market forces, especially jewellery and art. Twenty nine per cent of those surveyed have never had their jewellery valued. It’s important to have jewellery valuations every 18 months to ensure you are not underinsured.
5. Make sure you value all the clothes, shoes and bags you own, not just the designer items.
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For more information, please contact:
Cow (PR agency)
T: 020 7234 9150
RSA Insurance Group
T: 020 7337 5162
Notes for editors
* Research conducted by OnePoll on behalf of MORE TH>N Home Insurance. 1,000 men and 1,000 women aged 18 – 50 were polled.
Media relations manager
Telephone: +44 (0) 20 7337 5162