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Catch up with the latest press releases from LV=

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Press release: 27/02/2008

Brits have amassed an estimated £23 billion worth of sports equipment in their homes, much of which is seldom used, according to new research from home insurer LV=

With an average of £1,132 worth of 'kit' lying about in UK homes, you would be forgiven for thinking that there is some hope in combating the government projection that nearly 13 million adults in the UK will be obese by 2010*. However, scratch beneath the surface and much of the nations' sporting equipment is mostly used for collecting dust.

The research by LV= found that over £10.4 billion worth of golf clubs, racquets and bikes have not been used in the last six months and a further £4.4 billion of more specialist sporting equipment such climbing and diving gear has remained dormant for over three years.

Despite having a plethora of sports accessories in our homes, we are always looking to accumulate more. Adults in the UK epitomize the phrase ‘all the gear but no idea'. Nearly a quarter of us (23%) buy a whole new kit when we take up a new sport, with a further 10% buying second hand gear - before we have decided if we are going to keep the activity up.

Kitted out
Nearly half of all homes in the UK have at least one bike (48%), yet four in ten (40%) bike owners admit they haven't sat in the saddle in the last six months. The pattern is repeated for owners of golf clubs; one in five households (19%) has at least one set of clubs and half of them haven't swung them in the last six months.

It appears the level of energy required to use the equipment is not much of an indicator to the frequency of its use – 57% of anglers won't have caught a thing in the past six months as they haven't even used their rods.

What we have and how often we use it

Source = Opinium Research for LV=

The research from LV= also reveals that up to 11.4 million homes have some form of home gym equipment including expensive multi gyms, exercise bikes, trampolines and treadmills, mostly only used occasionally.

This sporadic approach is also common for users of more specialist sporting equipment, such as skis or snowboards. According to the research from LV=, 1.9 million people in the UK own their snow sports equipment, yet over a quarter (27%) haven't used it in the last three years. The cost to replace these items could really add up, with some people admitting it would be thousands of pounds, even though they only use it occasionally.

Despite the high cost of sporting equipment, over 1.9 million people admitted to leaving their items open to theft, storing them unsecured in the garden, on display in the car, or in an unlocked shed.

Emma Holyer, Spokesperson for LV= home insurance said: "It's easy to forget how much it would cost to replace the sporting equipment you have, unless you consider each item carefully and add up the total cost.

"We tend to think that the most costly things to replace are jewellery or electronics, but sporting equipment can cost thousands of pounds. People must ensure that if their bike is worthy of Lance Armstrong, or their golf clubs are up to Tiger Woods' standard, they inform their insurer so that it is included on their home insurance.

"Homeowners should also ensure they have personal possessions cover. This not only covers items like mobile phones, money, laptops and bags, but also sports equipment when it is away from the home. As electronics become increasingly difficult to sell on, thieves are now targeting sporting equipment as it's easy to sell on the black market.

"Some insurers don't even cover equipment kept in unlocked sheds or garages, so home owners should check their insurance cover to see what is and isn't covered."

LV= home insurance includes as standard £2,500 cover for items kept in outbuildings and £1,000 for contents in the garden.