Spring Forward, Fall Back

By SME Insurance

Posted 23/10/15

British Summer time (BST) is officially over this Sunday when the clocks go back at 2.00am. Britons are looking forward to the lighter mornings and an extra hour in bed but the darker evenings mean burglaries surge 38% *1during the winter months.

Analysis of data from Co-operative Insurance *1shows that the number of home insurance claims rocket when British Summer Time ends as opportunistic burglars seize the cover of early darkness to break into our homes. Data *1also shows that car insurance claims and thefts increase during the five months after the clocks have gone back.

Follow our tips to help prevent home burglaries and keep your property protected during the dark nights. Some of the points may seem obvious but it is vital to be more vigilant when it comes to security.

Leave a light on

Set a timer or leave a light on when you are out. Leaving the TV, radio or a lamp on can easily make it look like someone is in the house. A house left in darkness is a tell tale sign that the property is empty.

Security

Install exterior security lights around your property. A light that is activated by movement is a good way to deter burglars. It will alert you of their movement and light them up. A CCTV system is also a good deterrent and will aid the claim process should the worst happen. Having an alarm box visible on the exterior of your house is another way to limit your property as a target and having a working alarm can also make a big difference to your insurance premium.

Locking the doors and windows should already be routine when you leave the house but it is also wise to get into the habit of keeping the door locked even if you are in. 37% of homeowners confess to leaving the door unlocked whilst inside the home – even though statistics show that 22% of burglaries are carried out with the thief aware that the home was occupied. *2Keeping valuables, handbags and car keys out of sight and away from the letter box may also remove temptation of a burglar attempting to get into your property. It is also important to ensure your outbuildings and shed are locked too.

Surroundings

Hedges and fences can sometimes provide cover for burglars, meaning that trimming the hedges is not just a job for the summer time. Many local police forces are happy to visit properties to conduct a home security inspection and provide other tips to help keep your property safe. 

Social Media

Refrain from posting your whereabouts on social media, especially if you are going away for a number of days. “Checking in” at a location away from home can make your house an easy target to anyone who sees your post. 

Whilst a simple dose of bad luck plays a part in any burglary or robbery, following the tips above should help to deter thieves and make them think twice about targeting your property. If the worst does happen and you need to make a claim, a comprehensive home insurance policy can help you from losing out financially. For more advice, guidance or to enquire about a home insurance quotation, please call us on 0330 134 4600, visit www.smeinsurance.com or email NewBusiness@smeinsurance.com.

*1 http://www.co-operative.coop/corporate/press/press-releases/insurance/spike-in-home-thefts-when-clocks-go-back/

*2 http://www.rsgsecurity.co.uk/blog/news/interesting-uk-burglary-statistics#.VpzVHmfcuUk

Posted 23/10/15

Author: SME Insurance

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