LONDON, June 8, 2015 /PRNewswire/ --
A survey conducted by UIA Insurance celebrating its 125th anniversary highlights what everyday essentials are most important to us Brits in 2015
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To mark its 125th anniversary UIA Insurance has sought to understand what makes us Brits tick in 2015. What can't we live without, what would we rather miss out on and what gets us all emotional? Fascinating insight from renowned independent expert and Social Historian Ruth Goodman also shows how this differs to the typical life of a Victorian 125 years ago.
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A new survey of 5,000 people shows that in 2015 we are a nation full of clean, tech savvy, sentimental individuals with 45% of us not willing to give up our daily shower, 37% treasuring our laptop above any other item and 29% saying our wedding band is in the top 5 of our most treasured possessions.
In comparison, 125 years ago in the Victorian era, we cherished a different selection of household essentials with the sewing machine and china tea pots taking the top two spots. "125 years ago it was often the sewing machine that held pride of place as the most desired item of household technology" comments Ruth Goodman, whose expert knowledge provided the 1890's list.
1890 Top 10 Most Treasured 2015 Top 10 Most Treasures Items Items 1. Sewing Machine 1. Laptop 2. China Tea Pot 2. Car 3. Clock for Mantelpiece 3. Wedding band 4. Piano 4. Engagement ring 5. Mirror 5. Other piece of jewellery 6. Pocket Watch 6. Wedding photographs 7. Fountain Pen 7. TV 8. Silver spoons 8. Watch 9. Bicycle 9. iPhone 10. Wedding band 10. Family portrait
With huge advances in industry and technology, it is no surprise to see that the top 10 has changed. There are however two key exceptions: the watch and the pocket watch feature in the 2015 and 1890 lists respectively along with wedding bands which also feature in both. The evolution of the watch in particular has been remarkable - with smart watches now able to tell you much more than just the time, they have become a fully integrated lifestyle accessory.
Something few could have predicted but now finally it's been proven, Brits are a romantic bunch. We have kept wedding bands in our top 10 most treasured possessions for over a century, and it seems romance continues to bloom in 2015 as we now also hold dear our engagement rings and wedding photos.
With the average budget for a UK wedding soaring, it's no wonder we want to hang on to the precious memories of that special day. It's also no surprise to see that baby scan photos, cameras, journals and scrapbooks prove that sentimental items are being cherished over the years and come in the top 50 for 2015. The recent survey by UIA also highlights the significance us Brits place on high value technology with cars and TV's featuring in the top 10. Despite these results nearly half of all those polled (47%) had not insured any of their valuable items.
More significant than central heating and the flushing toilet the invention of the internet has proven to have the biggest impact on our day-to-day lives and is the most essential aspect to our modern existence according to nearly half (46%) of Brits. It wasn't however until the early 1990s when the internet saw its most significant growth with connectivity becoming accessible to the masses via personal and mobile computers. Further to this, a third (32%) of Brits would give up chocolate and a fifth (20%) would prefer to give up sex than lose access to the internet - not to mention, one in four tech-obsessed Brits who now can't live without Wi-Fi, over taking those who say music or a good book is their 'must have' daily essential.
With the increasing innovation and availability of mass-produced consumer goods, we have seen a real change in the attitudes to disposable income. Retail therapy is now a common solution to the stresses and strains of 21st century life and modern luxuries are readily available to a larger cross-section of society, and no longer limited to the upper middle classes and above. Ruth adds, "People past and present have often treasured most those things which they have had to go the extra mile for. In the Victorian era, the sewing machine was an expensive bit of machinery but it could halve a woman's sewing workload and give a whole new class of people a chance to indulge in fashion. It soon came to be seen as a necessity amongst the middle classes - hard indeed to live without once you had been lucky enough to own one."
There are a few noteworthy historical and political comparisons to be made between 2015 and 1890, even with unparalleled cultural, economic and technological advances. In 1890 the UK was ruled by another long-standing monarch, Queen Victoria, who reigned the country for a total of 63 years, now matched only by Queen Elizabeth II who came to the throne in 1952. Not to mention, Robert Cecil who had been elected Prime Minister in 1895 and would serve a consecutive conservative government in 1902.
Two of UIA's longest-standing policy holders, Pauline Turner and Christopher Thompson who both have policies dating back to the 1930's comment on their most treasured possessions. "I have an ancient piano in my house that holds real sentimental value for me" comments Pauline. "I also adore a pendant my father gave my mother on their Ruby anniversary; it's very special as I helped to choose it." Christopher adds, "For me, it's my Rolling Stones collection! I am a big fan so having the whole back catalogue including 40 albums to listen to any time I want, is just great."
Ian Cracknell, CEO of UIA, comments, "It's really important to us to understand our customers - what is important to them and what they hold dear. The survey results have generated some really interesting insights into the minds of the British public in 2015 compared to 125 years ago. Getting to the heart of what motivates us, what we attach sentimental value to and ultimately what we just can't go without every day allows us as a company to really personalise our service."
For more information please visit http://www.uia.co.uk/pastandpresent. Alternatively join the discussion on UIA's 125 year anniversary on the Twitter page @UIAinsurance using #125YearAnniversary, the UIA Insurance Facebook page or LinkedIn page.
Notes to Editor
UIA is a mutual insurance company which has been providing high quality cover for 125 years to members of selected trade unions and other like-minded individuals, seeking competitive premiums, wide cover and the highest standards of service on home insurance, travel insurance, pet insurance and car insurance.
UIA follows a set of principles which enable it to keep premiums low, provide excellent products, deliver great service and employ highly trained staff. These principles are:
- Our service - Our UK-based customer service team always gives policyholders the time they need on the phone; there is no pressure to keep calls short and the team can deal with any enquiry, from underwriting to claims to account queries.
- Our products - answering our customers' needs, exceeding their expectations.
- Our partners - sharing a principled approach to business; we only work with partners and suppliers who have similar values to us.
- Our people - We offer tailored training, development programmes and encourage staff to absorb new skills to achieve their full potential.
- Our community - We support many different initiatives throughout the year, including the NASUWT Young Activist of the Year Award through to UIA's own charitable foundation.
- Our governance - We will always work closely with partners to promote our industry and the markets within which we operate. We always act responsibly and in a manner that is accountable to our customers and regulators.
UIA are partners with eight trade unions which are as follows:Unison, Unite, CWU, RMT, NASUWT, Approved Usdaw, GMB, FBU
SOURCE UIA Insurance