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To mark its 125th anniversary, UIA Insurance has sought to understand what makes us Brits tick in 2015. What can’t we live without, what would we rather miss out on and what gets us all emotional? Fascinating insight from renowned independent expert and Social Historian Ruth Goodman shows how this differs to the typical life of a Victorian 125 years ago.

Watch the video below to see how our homes and the things we value have changed over the last 125 years.

Ian Cracknell

It’s really important to us to understand our customers – what is important to them and what they hold dear. The survey results have generated some really interesting insights into the minds of the British public in 2015 compared to 125 years ago. Getting to the heart of what motivates us, what we attach sentimental value to and ultimately what we just can’t go without every day allows us as a company to really personalise our service.

- Ian Cracknell, CEO of UIA

Ruth Goodman

People past and present have often treasured most those things which they have had to go the extra mile for. In the Victorian era, the sewing machine was an expensive bit of machinery but it could halve a woman’s sewing workload and give a whole new class of people a chance to indulge in fashion. It soon came to be seen as a necessity amongst the middle classes - hard indeed to live without once you had been lucky enough to own one.

- Ruth Goodman, Independent expert and Social Historian

Pauline & Christopher

Pauline Turner, one of UIA's longest standing policyholders, comments on her most treasured possession, “I have an ancient piano in my house that holds real sentimental value for me. I also adore a pendant my father gave my mother on their Ruby anniversary; it’s very special as I helped to choose it." For Christopher Thompson, whose policy dates back to the 1930s, it's his Rolling Stones collection,"I am a big fan so having the whole back catalogue including 40 albums to listen to any time I want, is just great.”


Left to right - Ian Cracknell, CEO of UIA; Chris McElligott,
Head of Marketing at UIA.

Number one most treasured item in 1890, the sewing machine.

Independent expert and social historian, Ruth Goodman, with 1890 treasured item, the sewing machine.