Brits will spend £32,017.99 on unexpected costs over their lifetime

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Meanwhile, adults pay £9,716.16 for emergency dentist appointments, £9,295.99 for unexpected visits to the vets, and £7,887.03 for boiler servicing or repairs over a lifetime.

This has left 51 percent wishing they had insurance in place to cover these frustrating moments.

A spokesman for British Gas HomeCare, which commissioned the research, said: “Life is full of surprises, and not all of them good.

“With the rising cost of living, it’s more important than ever to plan your finances ahead.

“Even minor annual emergencies can stack up over a lifetime without the safety net of an insurance policy to soften the blow.”

In the study, car repairs were found to be the most common surprise expense, followed by dental work and vet bills.

Accidentally signing up to a subscription – and then forgetting to cancel it – along with replacing a cracked mobile phone screen, were also common mishaps.

The effect of these unforeseen charges goes beyond the impact on our wallets, with nearly half of respondents (45 percent) feeling anxious at the thought of a major unexpected expense.

Annoyance, frustration, and stress are other common feelings experienced by those making an unwelcome outgoing.

The study, conducted by OnePoll, found that just 12 percent of those surveyed had not been hit by an unexpected payment in the last year.

The breakdown of white goods was a major source of unexpected repairs – and two-thirds (67 percent) believe the difficulty of finding a trusted tradesperson to fix their broken washing machine or boiler is yet another challenge.

More than half of those polled (55 percent) think the hunt for a qualified tradesperson when things go awry is the most stressful element of the situation, taking an average four hours to identify.

The spokesman for British Gas HomeCare added: “When things suddenly demand a hefty and unplanned cost, stress levels can skyrocket.

“And the pressure is magnified when the item that has broken down is something essential, like your refrigerator or boiler – especially around Christmas time, when most of us will have family staying over.

“Boiler servicing and repairs alone cost the average person £7,887.03 in their lifetime, so it pays to make sure you have the relevant insurance in place.

“That way, if the unexpected does happen, you don’t have to waste time and money searching for a tradesperson to fix the issue, and can have peace of mind that the problem will be looked into by a trusted engineer quickly.”

Unexpected costs have a long-lasting effect on the financial health of adults, with 56 percent admitting they find it difficult to save due to surprise outgoings.

When the shadow of an unforeseen payment darkens their doorway, over half (52 percent) dip into their savings to cover the expense, while 30 percent stick it on their credit card to worry about later.

An unfortunate 49 percent have been left struggling to afford the bare necessities like bills, groceries, and medical care after a surprise expenditure drained their funds.

And another 32 percent believe they would struggle to pay a £500 expense if it were to land on their welcome mat today.

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