Published: 6 MAY 2020
  • 74% of UK households plan to carry out some DIY in their homes during COVID 19 lockdown
  • Nearly one in ten say they have never done any DIY before
  • 29% of people who have made a claim on their home insurance say it was because of accidental damage – such as spilt paint, smashed windows or broken bathroom units
  • Generational divide in amount repairs need to cost before homeowners make a claim - £959 for Millennials aged 25-34 vs just £428 for Boomers aged 55-64

5 May 2020 – With the UK in lockdown for at least the next few weeks, many people across the country are planning to use the time to do DIY improvements in their home. With the May Bank Holiday approaching, new research from suggests that nearly three quarters (74%) of UK households are planning to get around to some DIY.

Nearly one in ten (9%), however, say that they have never attempted DIY before and only 11% would consider themselves DIY experts, potentially increasingly the likelihood of people damaging their homes.

The most popular DIY tasks are as follows:

DIY Task Percentage of households planning DIY
Cleaning windows 53%
Wall or ceiling painting 35%
Putting up pictures 24%
Putting up shelves 14%
Putting up or removing wallpaper 14%
Bleeding a radiator 11%
Grouting tiles 8%
Fixing leaking taps/ showers 8%
Unblocking a toilet or sink 8%
Cleaning or fixing the washing machine or dishwasher 8%
Fitting a carpet 6%
Hanging a door 5% is advising homeowners to take care when carrying out any DIY building work on their home, and to check that they have the relevant insurance cover in place before opening the paint tin or getting out the ladder.

The research shows that, of those households who have had to make a claim on their home insurance in the past, 29% said the reason for the claim was accidental damage, whereby the policy pays out to cover repair and replacement of unforeseen and unintentional events in your home. The most common causes for an accidental damage claim are stains or spills on the carpet (28%); broken windows, doors or lights (15%); and damaged bathroom units (12%) – accidents often a result of doing DIY.

Over a third (35%) of homeowners said that they had made a claim on their home insurance, whereas almost the same proportion (34%) said that they had chosen not to claim for an item or damage that would be covered under their policy. Of these, nearly two thirds (64%) said the amount it would cost to repair the damage wouldn’t be worth claiming for, and half (50%) said the excess would have been more than the cost to fix the problem.

There is a wide generational divide in the amount the repairs would need to cost before the homeowner makes a claim. Millennials aged 25-34 responded that, on average, the repair would need to cost £959 before they made a claim. For Boomers aged 55-64, the cost was less than half this amount at £428. Across all age groups, the average amount that repairs would need to be is £631 before they make a claim on their home insurance policy.

Chris King, head of home insurance at, said:

“Bank holidays have long been a popular time to fix those things around the house that we never seem to get around to, and with the nation in lockdown it looks like we can expect a bank holiday boom in DIY. Homeowners should be mindful, however, that current Government guidelines during the COVID-19 pandemic are to only fix issues around the home and not to take on new projects.

“Seemingly straightforward household repairs go amiss more often than people may realise. As such, it is essential that you check the terms and conditions of your home insurance policy before undertaking any renovations. Depending on the work you want to carry out, you may need protection under both contents and buildings insurance, in the event that something goes awry. Moreover, some providers may not cover more complex repairs, such as plumbing and electrical work, if it has not been carried out by a professional.”

Notes to Editors

Polling was conducted by Populus of 2,000 UK adults between 15-16 April 2020

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