Lack of basic security increases burglary risk tenfold

If you are heading off on your holidays this summer, home contents insurance is likely to be the last thing on your mind. The lure of sun, sea sand and pure relaxation is so overwhelming that it is easy to forget about your life and home whilst away.

But according to research, failing to use basic security measures in your home could result in your risk of burglary increasing tenfold[1]. Coming home to find you’ve been broken into is not the kind of welcome home anyone wants to receive.

Nick Starling, ABI director of general insurance, said[2]

Having adequate home insurance protection for when your home is unoccupied is a must.

Length of absence only becomes a significant factor in buying a policy if your home is likely to be empty for a prolonged period.

What is of more importance is you heed any conditions the policy sets out on issues such as security to ensure you don’t invalidate any potential claim.

Some basic security measures that may help to reduce your risk of opportunistic thieves include:

  • Get a burglar alarm. Government statistics show 60 per cent of burglaries fail if a property has a burglar alarm fitted.

  • Ensure all your windows and doors are securely locked. This is a very basic point, but vitally important to the security of your home. What’s more, should your home be burgled as a result of an open door or window, your home insurance will be invalidated – leaving you to pick up the costs.

  • Get timers on your lights. You can set these to come on at different times in the evenings, and the presence of lights turning on and off will give the impression that someone is home.

  • Don’t leave your keys in obvious places like under the plant pot near your front door! Again this is an obvious tip, but you would be surprised by the amount of people who fall foul of this – nearly 7% of homeowners have been burgled in this way[3].

  • If there is a neighbourhood watch in your area, join it. You can rest safe in the knowledge that your neighbours are keeping an eye on your home whilst you’re away, and return the favour when they go on holiday.

  • Sources:
    [1] Metro (11th June, 2010). Don’t come home to the scene of a crime.
    [2] Metro (11th June, 2010). Don’t come home to the scene of a crime.
    [3] Inside Money Talk (2nd December, 2009).Homeowners are leaving themselves vulnerable to a break in.

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