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Home is where the cash is

Tuesday November 27th 2012

Home is where the cash is
With interest rates at an all time low*, more Brits are choosing to spend on their homes than invest elsewhere. According to a new survey by insurer², 84% of us have spent up to five thousand pounds 'doing up' our homes in the last four years, despite the UK national and household incomes falling by more than 13% this year compared to the start of the recession four years ago³.
5,800 adults were asked what work they had carried out on home improvements and 85% of those said they had redecorated in that time.
Installing a bathroom is another popular activity with 28% replacing theirs and a further 21% installing a new kitchen. 31% of us have spent between £1 and £3K on home improvements with 1% spending more than £30K on making major changes. Half of those surveyed have replaced carpets and flooring with 5% adding an extension or a loft conversion. 7% have painted the outside of our homes as well.
The survey also revealed that more than half of us are living in a house that we don't want to be in and do not consider our current homes to be our "homes for life".
Sarah Potter from said "Despite 56% of us wanting to move on from where we’re living and the UK having been in recession, our survey shows that we're still spending money on home improvements. The question remains how we are affording to do this. One theory is that as we surveyed our own customers who have income protection or mortgage protection policies with us, so they may be more confident about spending on their homes than those that have nothing to fall back on should they lose their jobs through accident, sickness or unemployment.
In addition 38% of us admitted that the room we’re most unhappy to let anyone see is our bedroom blaming "mess" as the number one reason for keeping people out. It's worth noting that those surveyed were all over 18 showing that it's not just teenagers who sleep in an untidy bedroom.

* The Bank of England has kept interest rates at 0.5%
² surveyed 5,800 UK Adults
³National Wellbeing study Office of National Statistics Oct 2012

Notes to Editors
For media enquiries, please contact:
Sarah Potter – 07833 095 594

Notes to Editors
About is a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc - one of the UK's leading insurers. "Pinnacle Insurance plc is authorised and regulated by the Financial Services Authority".

About Cardif Pinnacle
Cardif Pinnacle (a trading style of Pinnacle Insurance plc) is the UK insurance unit of BNP Paribas Cardif, which is the life and property & casualty arm of BNP Paribas.

Formed in 1971 and currently employing circa 650 staff in the UK, Cardif Pinnacle has established itself as a leading provider of Protection solutions. Cardif Pinnacle acquired Warranty Direct and Direct Life and Pension Services in 2008, specialists in the provision of warranty and life insurance products.

With an emphasis on quality of service for clients and customers, Cardif Pinnacle is a preferred partner to many of the UK's leading Banks, Building Societies, Finance Houses and Intermediaries.

About BNP Paribas Cardif

BNP Paribas Cardif ( is the Life, Property & Casualty insurance subsidiary of BNP Paribas. It develops savings and protection products and services which are distributed via diverse channels. Present in 36 countries, and with a diversified geographic footprint, BNP Paribas Cardif has strong positions in Europe, Latin America and Asia.

BNP Paribas Cardif is one of the top 10 European insurers*.

In 2011, it had gross written premiums of 23.3 billion euros and 53% of its gross written premiums are generated outside France. It counts nearly 10,000 employees, 70% of which outside France.

In its commitment in Corporate Social Responsibility, BNP Paribas Cardif develops responsible products and services, supports diversity in the company, puts in place an internal environmental policy and commits itself into the economic and financial education.

* Source: Internal BNP Paribas Cardif survey based on gross written premiums at 31 December 2010 published in competitors' corporate literature.