More talks planned to combat low take-up of home insurance among Britain’s poorest families

Jacqui Smith, the home secretary, has held a top-level summit with leading insurance industry figures to discuss how they can help people on low incomes.

The Home Office is alarmed that 56% of the UK’s poorest people do not have home insurance. They are also 71% more likely to be burgled.

Industry leaders offered their support after a round-table meeting on 10 March between executives from companies such as Royal Bank of Scotland Insurance, Allianz and Fortis, and Smith. They discussed how to improve home security and open up insurance access to families on low incomes.

Stephen Haddrill, director-general of the ABI, will write a report for the Home Office on insurers’ minimum expectations for home security.

Peter Staddon, Biba’s technical services director, is planning a further meeting next month to continue the discussions.

“I am very encouraged,” he said. “Brokers have a great depth of knowledge. The government is beginning to appreciate that.”

An ABI spokesman said the association was keen to stay involved and would “reveal more in due course”.

A Home Office spokesman said the next meeting would explore how brokers could help improve access to insurance for tenants and how they could help with advice on home security.

John Greenway, the Conservative MP who chairs the all-party parliamentary group on insurance and financial services, said some of his constituents in Ryedale, Yorkshire, had lost everything in floods because their home contents were not covered.

“It is a good example of how the industry can offer solutions that the government itself cannot solve. It is a very good initiative,” he said.

See analysis: Helping society's poorest