• Wealth and health take joint top spot in the Direct Line ‘Hopes and Fears’ index
  • Poor health, not making ends meet, affordability and decreased living standards are the nation’s greatest fears
  • Fear of terrorist attacks jumps from 14th to 5th place

New research 1 from Direct Line reveals that an improved financial situation and good health are the top hopes for Brits in the coming six months.

The Direct Line ‘Hopes and Fears’ Index, which tracks the nation’s aspirations and concerns over a six month period, found that as summer comes to a close better weather has been replaced as the top hope by improved money and good health (both cited by 43 per cent of respondents).

According to the study, four of the top five aspirations are non‐financially focused, two in five Brits (40 per cent) are hoping for a holiday as autumn approaches while more than a third (36 per cent) are hoping to lose weight.

A fear of terrorist attack has risen most markedly in the rankings, from fourteenth six months ago to rank as the fifth greatest fear of Brits for the next six months. Almost a quarter (23 per cent) of Brits ranked this as one of their primary concerns. This could be seen as a reflection of public perception of the recent terror activity, hoaxes and the UK’s heightened alert status.

What are your main hopes for the next six months? What are your main fears for the next six months?
1. My financial situation improving 43% 1. Health problems for me or family members 46%
2. Good improved health for me & family 43% 2. Not being able to make ends meet 27%
3. Taking a holiday short break 40% 3. Inflation price rises 26%
4. Happiness & success for my children 38% 4. My standard of living dropping 26%
5. Losing weight 36% 5. Terrorist Attack 23%
6. Good weather 33% 6.Impact of Government cuts in public spending 21%
7. To win the lottery 33% 7. Bad weather 18%
8. Economic recovery 24% 8. A friend/ family member having financial difficulties 16%
9. Keeping my present job 15% 9. Not being able to lose weight 15%
10. Getting a promotion/ pay rise 14% 10. Getting into (further) debt 15%

Source: Direct Line, 2014

The nation’s greatest fear for the immediate future is their health and the health of loved ones, with 46 per cent citing this as one of their main concerns. The majority of concerns are financially motivated with three of the top five fears centred on money and their standard of living. Over a quarter (27 per cent) of people are concerned about making ends meet, while 26 per cent are worried about inflation and a further 26 per cent fear a drop in their standard of living.

Christine Webber, Harley Street psychotherapist and health writer, commented: “It’s interesting how much the index has altered in the past six months. However, the survey shows that ill health still tops the fear index. After all, no matter how much money you have, if you have poor health – or someone close to you is ill – your blooming bank balance is of little consolation. But what does seem highly significant to me is that seven of the top ten fears are about money and employment, which would suggest that the upward trend in the country’s economy has – so far – not resulted in a sense of solvency or security for the average person.

“It’s also a sad reflection of our times that fear of terrorism figures much more highly for British adults than it did just a few months ago.”

For further information, please contact:

Amrit Nijjer
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
Tel: 0207 282 2803

Claire Foster
Direct Line Press Office
Tel: 0165 183 1672
Mob: 07900 217 264

Notes to editors:

1. Opinium Research conducted an online survey from the 29th August to 1st September 2014, amongst 2,002 UK adults aged 18+. Results have been weighted to nationally representative criteria

Direct Line

Started in 1985, Direct Line became the first UK insurance company to use the telephone as its main channel of communication. It provides car, home, travel and pet insurance cover direct to customers by phone or on-line.

Direct Line general insurance policies are underwritten by U K Insurance Limited, Registered office: The Wharf, Neville Street, Leeds LS1 4AZ. Registered in England 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.

Direct Line and UK Insurance limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc. Customers can find out more about Direct Line products or get a quote by calling 0345 878 5587 or visiting www.directline.com