British women are carrying around a small fortune in their handbags, according to a new survey. The average woman's handbag and its contents is worth an astonishing £881.68 - that's a collective national total of £27 BILLION. But the majority of women believe their handbag and its contents are worth less than £200.
The poll of 3,300 women, conducted by women's car insurance specialist Diamond, found few surprises in what women lug around with them on a daily basis. But most would be shocked at the value of the bag in total after adding up the cost of the items individually.
A whopping 89 per cent of women carry around a purse worth £30, containing at least £50.16 of cash. And half of women polled say they always carry a make up kit containing items such as lipstick, lip balm, hairbrush to the value of £50. Costly items regularly carried around in handbags, but underestimated in terms of value, were mobile phones, house and car keys, sunglasses and leather diaries. Eight out of 10 women carry at least one mobile phone worth £100, a third of women carry a leather diary costing approximately £22 and 31 per cent of women carry round sunglasses worth £100.
The biggest surprise for replacing items is house and car keys. It can cost £200 to have a new car key made, and £250 to have replacement locks fitted if house keys are lost. Additional items usually found in a woman's handbag include an umbrella, a book, a notepad, and a pencil case and pens - increasing the value of the handbag a further £27.99.
Sian Lewis, managing director of Diamond said: "Ask any woman how important her handbag is and you're sure to get a positive response, so we wanted to find out if women really knew what they were worth. It seems like the majority don't and it's worrying to see that so many undervalue their handbags so greatly. I've never really stopped to think how much the contents of my handbag are worth, but it must be a bit as it's so heavy it sets the seatbelt alarm off on the passenger seat of my car! So maybe women need to take a moment and work out just how much their handbag and its contents are really worth as they could be in for a shock."
The poll revealed that the average woman was 14 years old when she bought her first handbag - but now juggles five handbags at any one time, and buys at least two a year. Forty four per cent of protective women wouldn't consider lending their friends their handbags, and 81 per cent wouldn't consider asking to borrow a bag from a female friend. Half of those polled claim they buy their handbags to co-ordinate with their favourite outfits.
Sian Lewis, managing director of Diamond said: "Handbags are an easy target for thieves and these figures show the rich pickings that are available inside the average woman's handbag. In fact, 16% of women admit to having their handbag stolen, so the thieves obviously realise how much they're worth, even if the owners don't. However, it's not always the contents that are at risk from thieves as some designer handbags themselves can be a target due to their value with some being worth hundreds or even thousands of pounds."