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'Sharing' trend sees no signs of abating

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The growing trend of sharing homes and possessions to make a profit shows no signs of abating, according to new research from Lloyds Bank Insurance. Last year a third (33%) of UK adults engaged in sharing economy transactions with one in 10 (11%) unlocking the earning potential of their assets by offering shared services themselves.

The latest Britain at Home report from Lloyds Bank Insurance found that of UK adults who have embraced the sharing economy, nearly a third (30%) are looking to increase or maintain the same level of usage of these services in the future. 

Those sharing their homes or property are so confident in the sharing economy’s lasting appeal they are making investments in order to maximise their earning potential. Of those who offer services, over a fifth (22%)  have made adaptions to their home in order to rent it out, and over a fifth (22%) have purchased items with the sole intention of renting them out. 

Although still in its infancy, UK adults are beginning to use the sharing economy to supplement their incomes, with the average annual earnings from renting out accommodation £411, a car £118, and even the family pet £116. Men in particular are taking advantage of the opportunity this presents, with nearly a fifth earning money from renting out items such as DIY tools (17%) or  lawnmowers (13%), compared to only 9% of women (DIY tools 9%, lawnmowers 9%).

The industry is fuelled by a growing cohort of consumers looking for temporary ownership of items, with holiday lettings proving the most popular service (27%). The top five services and items rented in the UK are:

1.     Room/house (short-term holiday letting) – 27%1

2.     Car/other vehicle – 18%

3.     Room/house (for long-term letting) – 14%

4.     Parking space/driveway – 12%

5.     Time/services – 10% 

Commenting on the findings Anthony Eskinazi, Founder and CEO of JustPark, said:  “Participation in the sharing economy shows no signs of slowing, and it’s easy to see why – it offers consumers cheaper, more flexible alternatives to traditional business models, while providing an opportunity to generate income from underused assets. For example we connect over a million drivers with thousands of underused parking spaces across the UK - helping motorists find a better deal on their parking, while allowing property owners to maximise the value of their spare land.”

For almost half of consumers who choose to use the sharing economy, saving money is the key reason (47%). With busy working lives a quarter of people feel that renting property and possessions gives them greater flexibility (26%), whilst others take a ‘waste not, want not’ approach with over a fifth (21%) not wanting to buy items they’ll only use once. 16% also believe sharing has a positive environmental impact. 

Tim Downes, senior claims manager, Lloyds Bank Insurance said: “The growth in the sharing economy offers homeowners a great opportunity to make extra cash from their homes and possessions, while those renting them can save a few pounds too.” 

Despite the clear desire for consumers to share their valuables and an increase in those wishing to rent rather than buy valuable items, few have considered the insurance implications when it comes to letting out their homes and possessions. Over half (56%) who offer sharing economy services either don’t know whether they are covered, or know they are definitely not covered to rent out their homes and possessions. 

Tim Downes continues: “The flipside to the benefits of a sharing economy is that so many have turned a blind eye to insuring their valuable, ‘money-making’ possessions should they become damaged or stolen. Anyone planning to rent out their homes, valuables, or a spare room should notify their insurer beforehand or they may risk invalidating a future claim. 

“We would not recommend renting out potentially dangerous items such as garden tools, unless the owners had the right type of insurance in place to cover for accidents and injuries that may result. If in any doubt, speak to your insurer.” 

Image : (c) 
Jakub Jirsák - stock.adobe.com

Source : Lloyds Bank

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04 November 2016

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