“You can stand under my umbrella” …because I stole it

14th April 2016

  • 11 per cent of people have stolen an umbrella in the last year
  • 9 per cent of us don’t have a moral problem with stealing ‘brollies’, viewing them as communal property and therefore ‘fair game’
  • Umbrella injuries – over four million (8 per cent) people injured by an umbrella in the last year
  • Churchill is giving away special edition Churchill umbrellas. Oh yes!

Rhianna famously offered the chance to “stand under my umbrella, now that it’s raining more than ever,” well if you are sheltering under a brolly in the UK there is every chance it has been stolen. New research from Churchill Insurance reveals that 11 per cent of people admit to having stolen an umbrella from a colleague, friend or stranger in the last year, with one-in-twenty admitting to stealing two or more.

The study, that was conducted to support Churchill’s special edition umbrella giveaway, revealed that when it comes to morals and ethics it appears the wet weather washes them away. Surprisingly, one in 10 (9 per cent) say they believe umbrellas are ‘fair game’, communal property they can take whenever needed. Of those that have stolen an umbrella, almost a quarter (23 per cent) took it from a work colleague, while 18 per cent have stolen one from a stranger on public transport or at a station.

Table one: Top locations for brolly theft

Churchill Insurance’s top locations for brolly theft
1. Work (23 per cent)
2. Public transport (18 per cent)
3. Someone’s house (15 per cent)
4. Shop / supermarket (11 per cent)
5. A restaurant / bar (9 per cent)

Source: Churchill Insurance, 2016

The high incidence of umbrella theft may be partly explained by people seeking an immediate replacement for a lost umbrella before heading out into the rain. More than a fifth (22 per cent) of people have lost an umbrella in the last year, while 10 per cent have lost two or more.

Claire Foster, spokesperson at Churchill Insurance said: “When it comes to wet weather it seems people are more concerned with keeping dry than worrying whose property they are sheltering under. Faced with the prospect of arriving at work, or to meet a friend, completely bedraggled it is easy to see why someone might be tempted to ‘liberate’ an umbrella. Those keeping an umbrella under their desk or leaving it at a restaurant entrance might want to keep a close eye on it because otherwise they may be the one walking home in the rain.”

The trend for people carrying golfing umbrellas, with their sharp metal points on congested town and city pavements, may help explain the high number of umbrella related injuries. Churchill’s research shows 8 per cent of people claim to have been injured by an umbrella in the last year.

Being caught without an umbrella can have extremely unfortunate consequences, especially if heading to an important meeting or social event. When caught in the wet without an umbrella 9 per cent of people have seen important documents ruined. Embarrassment has struck 8 per cent of Brits who have seen their clothing go see through in the rain, while one in twenty (6 per cent) have had a fake tan or make-up disaster without the shelter of a brolly.

When it comes to umbrella theft the residents of London are the least likely to have scruples about taking someone else’s brolly, with 13 per cent of residents feeling they are fair game. The crowded streets of the capital also account for the largest number of injuries, with 12 per cent of residents being hurt by a brolly in the last year.

Table two: Regional attitudes to umbrella thefts and recorded brolly injuries

Region Percentage of residents that think umbrellas are ‘fair game’ – communal property to be taken as needed Percentage of residents injured (e.g. poked in the eye) by an umbrella in the past year
London 13 per cent 12 per cent
Yorks & Humber 13 per cent 7 per cent
North East 11 per cent 9 per cent
West Midlands 11 per cent 5 per cent
East of England 9 per cent 8 per cent
South West 9 per cent 8 per cent
North West 8 per cent 7 per cent
Wales 8 per cent 7 per cent
East Midlands 7 per cent 6 per cent
South East 6 per cent 7 per cent
Scotland 6 per cent 9 per cent

Source: Churchill Insurance 2016

Win 1 of 500 special edition Churchill umbrellas. Oh Yes!

RT and follow @Churchillthedog and you could be in with a chance of winning your very own #Churchillumbrella.

T&Cs Apply. Closes 11:59pm, 13th March, visit http://twitter.com/ChurchillTheDog to enter.

Notes to editors

  1. Research conducted by Opinium Research with a representative sample of 2006 UK adults between 19th – 22nd February 2016

For further information please contact:

Claire Foster
Churchill PR Manager
01651831672
07525665504
claire.foster@directlinegroup.co.uk

Antonia Green
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
0207 282 2967
Antonia.green@citigatedr.co.uk

Churchill

Founded in 1989, Churchill is now one of the UK’s leading providers of general insurance, offering car, home, travel and pet insurance cover over the phone or on-line.

Churchill general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England and Wales No 1179980. U K Insurance Limited is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority.

Churchill and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Churchill products or get a quote by calling 0300 200300 or visiting www.churchill.com