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Value of Pensioners' Hi-Tech Home Contents Set to Rise 400% in 20 years

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The traditional image of granny will soon become a thing of the past as today's tech savvy 'middle-agers' enter retirement fully embracing the wonderful world of technology. Research from esure home insurance shows that the value of hi-tech gadgets in pensioner households could increase by nearly 400% in the next 20 years as they fill their homes with the latest gizmos - such as MP3 players, laptops and satellite navigation systems.

Today single pensioner households contain only one tenth the value of technology items compared to family homes. But this is set to change according to esure's 'homes of the future' report - an in-depth analysis into the insurance needs of tomorrow's households carried out by the Centre of Economic Business Research (CEBR).

'Middle-agers' are the big spenders
Couples with grown up children - the next generation of retirees - are the biggest spenders on accessories for the home in the UK. This factor will certainly shape the look and contents of pensioner homes of the future. These couples are the highest spenders on computers and DVD players - almost £550 per year. They also have the highest value of appliances in their homes (such as microwaves, dishwashers, TVs and washing machines) compared to all other households, totaling almost £1,300 per year. It is little surprise that this group is the most likely to take out home insurance to cover all their purchases - more than 90% of couples with grown-up children are insured.

A burglar's paradise - more pocket-sized gadgets
ipods, hand-held Playstation2s, digital cameras - all things techie are getting smaller, increasingly sophisticated, and ever more desirable. This minaturisation is great news for burglars - as many items can slip into their pockets with ease, especially if they are left lying around on a bedside table or a kitchen counter. So with the chance of being burgled at 1 in 24*, it's vital to be properly insured.

And the same goes for covering personal possessions away from the home. Gadgets and gizmos are now well and truly handbag-sized. Many of us are already carrying a small fortune around on a daily basis. It's crucial to have ample cover to replace 'portable belongings' in case they are lost or stolen whilst out and about.

Looking at the nation as a whole, the report also predicts a dramatic rise in the number of household gadgets cluttering up UK homes over the next 10 years - up by a staggering 60%.

Nikki Sellers, Head of Home Insurance at esure, said: "We've all witnessed the online silver surfer phenomenon and will soon be entering the era of the grey-haired gadget-loving granny. Couples with grown-up kids - the biggest spenders on household goods and gadgets - will retire in homes that are incomparable to those of today's pensioners."

"As the list of must-have gadgets lengthens, the value of what's inside all our homes is rising fast. And in this age of minaturisation, it's important for expensive gizmos to be tucked away into drawers, cupboards and handbags, out of sight of burglars. But the danger is for homeowners to overlook these items when estimating the value of their contents - which could leave them under-insured and vulnerable if a burglar does strike."

Editor's Notes:
CEBR (Centre of Economic Business Research) - an independent economics and business research consultancy - produced an analysis of the insurance needs of tomorrow's households for esure in March 2005. It is the first piece of research to systematically analyse how changes in society and lifestyles will influence insurance needs.

* CEBR calculations based on the British Crime Survey.

Press contacts:
Niki Bolton, Public Relations Manager, esure
Alicia Jennings, Media Relations Manager, esure
Adrian Webb, Head of Corporate Communications, esure

About esure:
esure was founded by Peter Wood as a joint venture with HBOS. It is an authorised personal lines insurer and sells private car, home and travel insurance direct to mainland UK customers, predominantly via the internet but also through three state-of-the-art call centres. The esure brand began trading in July 2001, although esure insurance also underwrites Halifax Car Insurance and Sainsbury's Car Insurance. esure reached one million policies in force during April 2005 making it the fastest-growing personal lines insurer ever in the UK.

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