Broken Mirrors Leave Brits With 167 Million Years Of Bad Luck

- 12 million Britons have broken a mirror in the past seven years
- 67 per cent admit to being superstitious
- Walking under a ladder is Britain's most popular bad luck superstition

Almost 12 million[1] Britons will be crossing their fingers, as new research from Privilege Home Insurance reveals one in four (24 per cent) people have broken an average of two mirrors in the last seven years. For those who believe in superstitions, that's a staggering 167 million[2] years of bad luck.

The research highlights a nation of superstitious Brits, with 67 per cent of us admitting we believe in luck, rising to 77 per cent for women, compared to 56 per cent for men.

The Privilege study suggests that more than a third (37 per cent) of Britons will avoid walking under ladders, the most prevalent 'bad luck' superstition in the UK.

Top ten bad luck superstitions:

Superstition % of people that believe in this superstition
Walking under a ladder 37%
Putting an umbrella up indoors 29%
Breaking a mirror 28%
Seeing one magpie 26%
New shoes on the table 24%
Spilling salt 22%
Giving a purse/wallet without a coin in it 20%
The number 13 16%
Passing someone on the stairs 15%
An upside down horse shoe 8%

In contrast, 'touch wood' is the good luck superstition Brits are most likely to follow, with 40 per cent of respondents admitting they believe in this behaviour to ward off disaster.

Top ten good luck superstitions:

Superstition % of people that believe in this superstition
Touching wood 40%
Crossing fingers 29%
A four leaf clover 27%
Itchy palms 22%
Black cat crossing your path 21%
Money spider 21%
Seeing a shooting star 19%
A horseshoe 16%
Turkey wishbone 16%
Bird droppings on your head 12%

Dan Simson, head of Privilege Home Insurance, commented: "We might be a superstitious nation, but it seems some forms of bad luck are difficult to avoid with a quarter of Brits having broken an average of two mirrors in the last seven years. If luck was the only cost associated with a broken mirror that would not be so bad, but it can actually be very expensive and time consuming to replace broken furniture."

"Accidents happen a lot in the home and are often unavoidable, which is why having a comprehensive home insurance policy not only offers peace of mind but also helps alleviate the cost of putting things right."

Regionally, people in London are the most superstitious, with 74 per cent admitting they believe in luck. In contrast, those in the West Midlands and North East are the least superstitious (60 per cent).

Region % who have broken a mirror
London 35%
North West 31%
North East 31%
Wales 25%
East Midlands 24%
Scotland 23%
Yorkshire & Humber 22%
West Midlands 21%
South West 20%
East 19%
South East 17%

- Ends -

For further information please contact:

Claire Foster
PR Manager, Privilege Home Insurance
T: 020 8285 8682
M: 07900 217 264

Katie Pugh
Citigate Dewe Rogerson
T: 0207 282 2914

Notes to Editors:

1. Research conducted on behalf of Privilege home insurance by Opinium Research of 2,004 Nationally Representative (UK adults aged 18+) 4th - 7th October 2013. All calculations are based on the ONS adult population estimate of 50,371,000.

2. Bad luck calculated by:
ยท 473 respondents said that they had broken a mirror in the past 7 years. As a percentage of the total sample this is 23.6%. 23.6% of the 2013 UK adult population of 50,371,000 = 11,888,964
1 Average number of mirrors broken: 2.01
2 Total number of mirrors broken = 2.01*11,888,964 = 23,908,630
3 Years bad luck for breaking a mirror: 7
4 Total years bad luck = 7* 23,908,630 = 167,360,412


Privilege Insurance specialises in car insurance for safe drivers (particularly those with four or more no-claims discount). It also offers home insurance and breakdown cover by phone or on-line.

Privilege 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.

Privilege and U K Insurance Limited are both part of Direct Line Insurance Group plc.

Customers can find out more about Privilege's products or get a quote by calling 0845 246 0515 or visiting

Press release distributed by Pressat on behalf of Rocket Pop PR, on Thursday 24 October, 2013. For more information subscribe and follow

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Broken Mirrors Leave Brits With 167 Million Years Of Bad Luck