We’ve seen a recent rise in theft claims both in our clients’ homes and businesses. It seems the burglars are getting ever more audacious in their attempts to steal; from breaking into one of our client’s property whilst they were asleep upstairs to spending 3 hours methodically going through a client’s business premises and even carefully putting the window back in place once they’d taken all they wanted. A fellow broker even reported that one of his clients had their brand new laid turf stolen!
If you or anyone you know has been a victim of burglary, you’ll know it’s a horrible experience – it’s not just losing your irreplaceable valuables or the damage done to your home but the feeling of vulnerability that it creates.
Whilst you may not always be able to outfox the most audacious of criminals, there are plenty of steps you can take to minimise the risk of being burgled and of course, insurance is there to protect your home and possessions should the worst happen.
To help you avoid being the next victim of crime, we’ve put together some tips to keep your home and valuables as safe as possible:1It sounds obvious but check that you have insurance cover in place and that it hasn’t lapsed.
2 Check your sums insured on your policy. Are your contents sufficiently covered on your existing policy – it’s the most common reason claims get turned down or not paid in full. Make sure all your items of gold, jewellery and valuables have the right levels of cover. (You should have up to date valuations in place as prices regularly fluctuate). We have a free contents sum insured calculator to help you get your sums right. 3 Take photographic evidence of your valuables and mark your property so it can be easily identified. See tips for marking your property from the Met Police website. Photographic evidence is also critical if valuables remain unrecovered and you want to have an item of jewellery remade. 4 Make sure that your home security is first class throughout the property. Some policies will stipulate window locks and deadlocks on doors but there is much more you can do to secure your property, from external security lights, to safes, to alarms, to CCTV. However, the best security in the world will not be effective unless it is put into full operation whenever the home is left unattended, so do make sure you are security conscious and carry out regular security checks habitually. 5 Don’t forget to secure any out-houses or garages as these are where most opportune thefts occur from. Many of our clients have very high sums insured in their outhouses- bikes, garden furniture, garden and sporting equipment. Get the right security in place and ensure the contents are properly covered under your insurance policy. 6 If you’ve got high value jewellery, consider installing a safe – see our guide to the right safe for your home. 7 And if your insurance policy does have warranties in place such as keeping your valuables in a safe, make sure you follow them or you could have your claim denied. 8 If you are going away for a few days we recommend asking a neighbour or relative to check your home and move any post or papers. And don’t spread the word on social media that you are away. Those facebook photos of you and the family on an exotic holiday are a great way of letting the world know that there’s no-one at home.