The search for Mr. and Mrs. Average has yielded some pretty interesting insights into Britain’s social landscape. In a present where political and economic vicissitudes are such that the only thing that is certain is the mutability of life, it seems that the good old Mr. and Mrs. Smith, with their two cars, living in “The Cottage” is still very the cornerstone of the British society - just as it used to be a couple decades ago.
These were the findings of a study conducted by the insurance giant Aviva, when they set about trying to find out who exactly were Britain’s “Mr and Mrs Average”. The study was based on data collected over the last decade of all customers who took out a travel, building, content, life or car insurance. In a time mired by uncertainty, the findings were quaintly reassuring.
Mr. and Mrs. Smith finds themselves with the most number of namesakes on the island, followed by the less popular Mr. and Mrs. Jones, and then Mr. and Mrs. Williams. They own two cars, with one being a Ford Fiesta, and either Vauxhall Astra or a Vauxhall Corsa. They vacation in Spain first, and then America, and then perhaps France.
They live in a detached home that was been built in the early 1900s, called “The Cottage”, on an address on the “High Street”. The second house down the road is called “Rose Cottage”, and the third “The Bungalow”. The house is probably mortgaged, and has an insurance value of £145,200, which is how much it would cost the Smiths to rebuild the property. The home is modest, with three bedrooms and just the one bathroom, and it contains about £28,000 worth of possessions that the Smiths consider is valuable enough to insure.
Of course, some facets of 21st century life inevitably creeps into the lives of the Averages. Today, Mr. and Mrs. Smith are non-smokers and don’t get much physical exercise. The products they are most likely to make an insurance claim on is a 32 inch Toshiba television, a Samsung laptop computer, or the latest Sony PlayStation console.
David Tyers, director of marketing at Aviva, said that in a sense it is comforting to know that over the past decade some things have remained very much as they were. Instead of exotic destinations and avant-garde home architecture, it is still very much the beaches of Spain and comforts of “The Cottage” that find themselves the norm of life in the UK.