Homeowners have been warned to protect their properties from festive thieves this winter and be careful they are not invalidating their home insurance policies.
Home insurance comparison experts from Quotezone.co.uk have shared tips to reduce opportunities for thieves this Christmas.
Thieves are always on the lookout for new targets, with burglaries often spiking around Christmas.
Insurers dealt with the equivalent of 198 domestic burglary claims every day over the festive season, nearly a 10% increase on the previous three months of the year.
Although many like to show appreciation by posting snaps of their favourite Christmas presents on social media, people are being urged to refrain.
Posting photos of expensive gifts online makes it easy for potential thieves to find their next target, this could also invalidate home insurance policies and leave many vulnerable.
Greg Wilson, CEO and Founder of insurance comparison site Quotezone.co.uk, said: “With police reports showing just how prevalent theft is in England and Wales across the festive season, homeowners should take all appropriate steps to protect their home.
“Our recent festive survey showed 70% of people don’t inform their insurance provider when they have expensive gifts under the Christmas tree. Homeowners need to keep their insurer up to speed with any changes to their policy, to ensure they are protected.
“With the cost-of-living crisis affecting everyone financially, we’ve noticed a surge in homeowners using home insurance cover without the additional contents protection. This means when burglaries happen, people will be covered for damage to the property but not the items that are stolen.
“This Christmas, protect your home by taking important measures to deter thieves. Make sure to encourage home protection with your family, 5% of our recent survey admitted to showcasing gifts across their social channels – insurers could consider this as lack of care for the items in question and may not cover them should they get stolen.”
Here are Quotezone.co.uk’s tips for staying safe this Christmas:
- Reduce opportunities
Make sure any expensive Christmas gifts are kept well out of sight from passersby and away from any ground floor windows. This will help to reduce temptation for potential thieves. Posting lavish or expensive Christmas gifts on social media leaves you vulnerable to thieves looking for new targets.
- Stay alert
The majority of residential break ins happen during the day, so keep an eye out for any suspicious behaviour. It is also important not to hesitate in asking callers to the house for their ID, genuine callers won’t mind and it may just put off potential thieves.
- Don’t forget the basics
Having simple security measures in place ahead of Christmas could be enough to make the difference. Use padlocks, bolts and window locks to tighten up on security and make it harder for thieves to access your home.
- Alarm details
Investing in a burglar alarm is one of the most effective ways to prevent a break-in. Thieves are far less likely to target a home which has installed an alarm, and some insurance providers will offer a discount on premiums if your house has one. Just be careful to update your details correctly as inaccurate details could void your policy or invalidate your claim.
- A door upgrade
All exterior doors should be securely locked every time the house is left unoccupied – even if it is just for a couple of minutes. uPVC doors and most new doors have a multi-locking system which works when the handle is pulled up and then locked – if they’re BSI approved (British Standards Institution), it can reduce the cost of your home insurance.