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Home repair warranties increase as homeowners seek to 'avoid disaster'
Published:  07 June, 2011

HomeServe increased its revenue by 27% to £467.1 million during the 12 months to March 2011, after selling 15% more insurance policies.

The company offers home insurance services and repairs for domestic systems such as plumbing and heating.

Founder Richard Harpin said homeowners keen to avoid costly disasters such as boiler breakdowns helped it grow last year.

"It's reinforcing the fact that people are living busier and busier lives. Particularly in difficult economic conditions, when people are feeling a bit hard up, it's so they can avoid the cost of a big repair bill."

Harpin has grown HomeServe to a multi-country giant with access to 68 million households, but says there is still vast room for growth.

Only 22% of UK homes have plumbing and drainage protection while just 30% have boiler cover - compared with 65% of people that have vehicle breakdown cover, he said.

Harpin said HomeServe has "older customers that have older properties, they worry about things going wrong, and they want to have somebody to sort it out."

They are also loyal – more than 80% are repeat customers.

While UK new customers were up 4% to 3 million, the company said it is expanding far faster in its international markets such as the US, France and Spain.