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Not having insurance could leave those consumers on low incomes at greater financial risk, it has been suggested. The news comes as research carried out by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) reveals that just over a third of people (35 per cent) living in low-income homes - those households which earn less than 10,000 pounds per year - do not have any form of insurance. And with the firm suggesting that such consumers are more at risk from crime, flooding and fire than their higher-earning peers, not taking out cover may see them struggle more to meet demands on their finances such as utility bills and personal loan repayments. In addition, the ABI revealed that 44 per cent of the poorest households have purchased home contents insurance, in comparison to the 82 per cent of Britons on median incomes (earning between 15,000 pounds and 30,000 pounds) who have the product. Overall, a third of people on low incomes have motor cover, while only a quarter have taken out life insurance. Research from the association also showed that those consumers with an annual income of less than 5,000 pounds are 71 per cent more likely to have their homes burgled at least once, in comparison to households earning at least 30,000 pounds. Meanwhile, arson rates are some 30 times higher among people living in the most deprived communities. It was also suggested that consumers making the least amount of money per year are more susceptible to flooding. Speaking at a seminar on financial inclusion and insurance, Stephen Haddrill, director general of the ABI, said: "Insurance provides valuable protection to people on all income levels. The poor are least able to deal with financial loss and depend most on insurance. We need to address the issue of low take-up in low-income groups. A lack of spare cash is the biggest factor holding back the purchase of insurance by lower income households." The association also asserted that when those on low incomes and who are without insurance have items either damaged or stolen, they have to meet the costs of replacing such goods themselves, which in turn may put pressure on their day-to-day money management. Consequently, a third of such consumers are shown to borrow, whether this be through a secured loan, credit card or other means, in a bid to meet such costs and in turn are "increasing their indebtedness". As a result, for those consumers looking to replace damaged goods or to get repairs on their property carried out, applying for a personal loan could be an effective way of meeting such costs. In addition, taking out a loan could also help consumers organize their finances and free up disposable income, as they could be able to pay off various debts quickly - potentially leaving them more money to buy a sufficient insurance policy. Earlier this year, Chris Tap, associate director of Credit Action, stated that by taking the time each month to review their finances, consumers will be able to identify where their money goes and so could make payments on personal loans and other types of credit with greater efficiency.
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