While the rest of the country has basked in one of the hottest starts to the summer on record, former Big Brother contestant Jade Goody has been having something of a hard time of it.
In a bid to take advantage of the interest surrounding the start of the ninth season of the reality show, Endsleigh Insurance commissioned a poll to find out who the public thought was the worst-ever contestant and, hardly surprisingly given the allegations of abuse that marred her second spell in the house, the Bermondsey beautician came a resounding first.
While this news may well have hardly troubled the thick-skinned 26-year-old, to make matters worse, it has now been reported that she has been hit in the wallet, with opportunistic thieves taking advantage of her maverick attitude to home security and making off with more than £50,000 worth of jewellery.
Though neither the Essex police nor Goody herself have commented on the incident, it is widely believed that the items, which included a Tiffany necklace, were left on display in an open window.
As such, not only will the star have lost her possessions, but her failure to keep them secure is likely to have made any insurance policy she may have had in place null and void.
Homeowners still taking risks to save a few pounds
Of course, it is all too easy for many homeowners to dismiss this as the actions of a woman who thought East Anglia was a foreign country.
However, a significant proportion of homeowners are still lacking in common sense when it comes to home insurance cover, with hundreds having to suffer a financial hit as well as the stress and grief which comes with falling victim to a burglar.
According to the British Insurance Brokers’ Association (BIBA) there are still a significant number of Brits who, despite advice to the contrary, continue to ‘self-insure’ their possessions.
That is, rather than paying a monthly sum for a proper policy with a reputable insurer, they will simply put a little bit of money aside every so often to guard against any losses or damage, confident in the belief that the odds are on their side and they will manage to save a few pounds in the long-run.
Though this may seem beneficial, Graeme Trudgill, technical and corporate affairs executive at BIBA, has pointed out a number of obvious flaws.
"It’s all very well to try to make your own provision to cover small losses which might befall you, in terms of your carpet, or water down the back of a television set or something," he explained.
"But what you have to bear in mind is that household policies also include liability cover – personal liability for the owner/occupier, for example."
"If you are sued – maybe if one of your children’s riding a bike and does a serious injury to someone – then that’s the sort of thing that normally would get picked up under your household policy."
"I’m not sure that there would be many individuals out there that would want to put aside enough money to cover those sorts of circumstances."
Little measures can save big headaches
For those consumers reluctant to spend serious money on home insurance, even taking the simplest precautions can not only guard against being burgled but also bring down premium levels considerably.
Keeping valuable items in a safe rather than in an open window is one obvious example, though insurers even look favourably on precautions such as burglar alarms and even sturdy double locks.
As ASDA’s head of insurance, Gideon Ingham concluded: "Many households across the country will have at least a few precious items of jewellery and family heirlooms in their possession. In some cases, such as Jade Goody these can be worth several thousand pounds and we urge people to keep their valuables out of sight and preferably locked in a safe."
And like it or not, numerous TV and panto appearances and best-selling workout DVDs mean that Jade Goody may even be able to take a £50,000 hit on the chin, while for average homeowners even a stolen TV could be a serious financial headache.