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Household hammer: Research reveals the everyday items that didn’t make it through lockdown

Mobile phone, slippers, kettle – top three items repaired, replaced or upgraded in last 12 months

  • 11.9million1 UK adults had their mobile phone repaired or upgraded in the last year.
  • 21% of adults replaced their slippers – the equivalent of 10.8 million1 pairs.
  • 5.7m toasters needed repairing or replacing during the pandemic.
  • GoCompare Home Insurance is urging households to check their home contents to make sure their new acquisitions are covered.

Over the last year, lockdowns and restrictions have seen us spend more time than ever at home and, according to new research, many everyday items and devices including phones, slippers, kettles and vacuum cleaners just weren’t up to the job.

With access denied to our usual places of work, education, and leisure, our household belongings have taken an absolute hammering, according to a new study by GoCompare Home Insurance, who looked at the items that have done the heavy lifting during lockdown.

Mobile phones have been hit hardest with nearly a quarter of Brits needing to repair, replace or upgrade their device in the last 12 months.  Other items which have taken a hammering include vacuum cleaners, PCs and laptops, digital TV devices, WiFi routers and toasters.           

Item repaired, replaced, or upgraded in the last 12 months %
1 Mobile phone 23
2 Slippers 21
3 Kettle 20
4 Pyjamas/sleep-wear 19
5 Vacuum cleaner 16
6 PC or laptop 15
7 Television 14
8 Microwave 13
9 Washing machine 12
10 Bed/mattress 12
11 Fridge or freezer 11
12 Toaster 11
13 Sky Box, BT Box, NOW TV Box, Firestick or other satellite TV device 9
14 Home WiFi account or router 9
15 Coffee machine 9

Other items that didn’t survive include printers, ovens, sofas, TV remote controls, and deep fat fryers.

GoCompare Home Insurance is urging households who have bought expensive, new equipment and devices to check their home contents to make sure their new purchases are covered.  While most policies include cover for technology and entertainment equipment, there are limitations on the cover provided. 

A comparison3 of nearly 400 policies found that 28% of policies only cover accidental damage to technology and entertainment equipment if the policyholder has topped-up their policy.  Policyholders also need to check the small print to look for policy restrictions.  For example, portable items (e.g. laptops, tablets) may be excluded, damage by cleaning is another common exclusion.  Gamers should also be aware that some policies exclude damage to TVs caused while gaming equipment is being used. 

The maximum amount an insurer will pay-out for a single item varies widely between policies, from £750 to a percentage of the value of the whole home’s contents.          

Lee Griffin, CEO and founder of GoCompare, commented, “The past year has seen our lives change dramatically.  Lockdown restrictions have meant many of us have been separated from loved ones so digital devices have been key in helping us stay connected.  PCs, laptops, and tablets have also become essential household items as we are having to use screens to work, educate our children, to shop, and entertain ourselves.  Lockdown has made staying in the new going out and, for many, digital home entertainment and gaming systems have become essential pieces of kit.

“If over the last year you have bought expensive new tech, then you should check that you have adequate insurance.  While policies won’t cover your technology and entertain equipment against wear and tear, they can provide valuable financial protection against accidental damage, theft, fire, and flood.”      

For more information on accidental damage cover: https://www.gocompare.com/home-insurance/accidental-damage-and-home-insurance/


For further information please contact:

Gordon, Jason or Liz at MAW Communications on 01603 505 845

Keep up-to-date with GoCompare on Twitter; @GoCompare

Notes to editors

1ONS June 2017 population estimates for England and Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.  UK adult population (over 18 years old) estimated to be 51,767,543. Percentages are calculated on this figure.

2On 8 February 2021, an online survey of 2,042 randomly selected Great British adults was executed by Maru/Blue. For comparison purposes, a probability sample of this size has an estimated margin of error (which measures sampling variability) of +/- 2.1%. The results have been weighted by age, gender, region and social grade to match the population, according to Census data. This is to ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Great Britain. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

3Defato Matrix of 396 home contents insurance policies (11 February 2021) – instant and unbiased market and competitor intelligence, from independent financial researcher Defaqto. Percentages are rounded up to the nearest whole number.


GoCompare is a comparison website that enables people to compare the costs and features of a wide variety of insurance policies, financial products and energy tariffs.

GoCompare does not charge people to use its services, and it does not accept advertising or sponsored listings, so all product comparisons are unbiased. GoCompare makes its money through fees paid by the providers of products that appear on its various comparison services when a customer buys through the site.

When it launched in 2006, it was the first comparison site to focus on displaying policy details rather than just listing prices, with the aim of helping people to make better-informed decisions when buying their insurance. GoCompare has remained dedicated to helping people choose the most appropriate products rather than just the cheapest, and has teamed up with Defaqto, the independent financial researcher, to integrate additional policy information into a number of its insurance comparison services. This allows people to compare up to an extra 30 features of cover.

GoCompare is the only comparison website to be invited to join the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA).

For more information visit www.gocompare.com and www.gocogroup.com