Saga generations make the switch to smartphones

Monday 22 September 2014

• 88% of over 50s own gizmos such as laptops, tablets and smartphones • One in five use smartphones on the move to get the best deals on their shopping • Four in ten tablet owners use them to check in to social media

Saga generations make the switch to smartphones – over 50s love a wi-fi gadget

Modern gadgets are often seen as the preserve of the young and hip. When they’re not squinting at text messages on a handheld device, teenagers can typically be found scouring video sharing websites or chatting to friends on social media – all of which requires a high tech gadget and knowledge of how they work.

But a Saga Home Insurance Poll* has revealed that Britain’s over 50s are just as likely to wield a touchscreen device or computer as their younger counterparts. Just as teenagers seem reliant on gadgets for chat and entertainment, almost four fifths (88%) of over 50s asked say they own at least one digital gadget, such as a laptop, smartphone or tablet and they are just as keen to use them whenever, wherever.

Nearly four in ten tablet owners over 50s say they use them regularly to keep in touch using social media and over a quarter are regular users of Skype and other free internet phone services. As Oscar Wilde said “with age comes wisdom” and the over 50s  are demonstrating this with their shrewd use of smartphones, one in five use them while out shopping to check prices elsewhere to make sure they are getting the best deal.  Many also use them when out at garden centres, presumably to check that the plant that has caught their eye will do well in their garden.

As well as shopping online, finding directions and socialising, more than half of nearly 10,000 over 50s asked (56%) pay bills on their laptop, while just under half (45%) like to plan trips and days out on a tablet device. Two thirds of the Saga generations use a laptop to do online banking while a third use their tablet to listen to music. And globetrotters are just as keen to keep abreast of things online, as a little under half of over 50s plan holidays on their iPad or other tablet device.

When it comes to where the over 50s use their digital gadgets, nowhere is out of bounds. When asked where they use their gadgets for tasks other than making calls, the most popular area of the home for gadget use is the front room. This is followed by the kitchen and, surprisingly, the bedroom. Over half (54%) admit to using their tablet in bed as do four in ten smartphone users.

More than one in 10 admit that they occasionally use a smartphone in the loo, while a quarter of those asked put their tablet to use in the garden. With so many gadgets being used by the over 50s, for a variety of tasks, losing any of them to theft or accidental damage could prove a significant loss. That’s why Saga Home Insurance’s Personal Belongings Cover offers worldwide protection for possessions up to £5,000 per incident.

Roger Ramsden, chief executive, Saga Services, commented: “The over 50s are a pragmatic bunch and clearly recognise both how valuable and useful mobile gadgets can be. They have fast become a part of everyday life.

“The Saga generations have embraced technology, perhaps because it adds so much benefit to their lives. For many people now, losing their tablet or smartphone cuts them off from their friends and family, that’s one good reason why it’s important to have insurance that can get you back online again.

The table below shows where Britain’s over 50s most regularly use wifi gadgets:


Notes to editors
*Populus interviewed 10,080 Saga customers, all aged 50+, online between 13 and 21 August 2014. Populus is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules; for more information see

About Saga Home Insurance
Saga Home Insurance is designed for the over 50s and offers:
• Up to £500,000 buildings and up to £50,000 contents cover as standard
• Higher levels of cover are available through our Saga TailorMade Home Insurance
• New for old replacement of your contents.
Personal Belongings Inside and Outside the Home Cover
Saga’s comprehensive Personal Belongings cover can be added to a Saga contents policy. It provides worldwide protection for your possessions – whether you have lost items inside your home or garden, left them on the train or broken them on a day’s outing. We cover personal belongings up to £5,000 for each incident. Any individual item worth more than £1,000 must be specified and will be covered separately on the policy in addition to the £5,000 limit.

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