As crime levels soar, how protected are you?

As crime levels soar, how protected are you?

Many of us have mixed feelings about heading back into the office after working-from-home for so long. But could the move away from the dining room table desk actually be impacting the safety of your home?

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Warnings have come as new data shows that burglaries have surged 6.2% since the beginning of the year, with thieves taking advantage of more properties being left empty while the tenants go back to work, resulting in over £169 million worth of goods stolen so far this year.

According to recent data, 69% of people are afraid of being burgled when they return to work, and with good reason – break-ins have increased significantly since the return to normal life.

According to Churchill Home Insurance :

  • there were 3,600 more burglaries between April and June than in the first three months of the year.
  • Over 40% of people surveyed admitted to being — apprehensive about leaving their home for an extended amount of time, such as while traveling or on holiday
  • while 37% are more concerned about being burgled while out locally for a short period of time.

However, holidays and even days out pale into insignificance when you consider the biggest worry factor for most, with research showing that over two million people are worried about the security risks of returning to work.  

How can you protect your property?

Police Community Support Officer Mark Wilson says that there are a number of measures that tenants can take and landlords should know about. He said:

  • Double-check that the door is locked and that the windows are shut, especially at night
  • Install security measures – visible alarms are great
  • Before leaving, turn on the lights or turn on the radio to give the impression that the house is occupied
  • Participate in Neighbourhood Watch programs to make your neighbourhood safer
  • If the worst happens, be sure your tenant has house insurance coverage that would replace your lost items

Your tenants having good contents insurance is obviously vital should they fall victim to a burglary, however it is worth considering what your landlord building insurance covers too. 

Most burglars don’t enter the property gently, leaving no trace. Forced entry, through windows or doors, can really hike up costs for landlords, who are ultimately responsible for putting any damage right. It can cost hundreds (if not thousands) to get your property back to being safe and secure for your tenant, so you want to make sure that you are covered for this

One landlady who was prepared to speak to us about her experience was Lesley from Penge in South London. She said:

I was contacted first by the police, then later by my three tenants after a break-in took place. My insurance only covers accidental damage by a tenant and I’m now left paying for a new front door frame and lock, which wasn’t covered and isn’t cheap, so the door is boarded up now until a trader can book me in.

Sadly, the location of Lesley’s property has put it at an increased risk, London is the most burgled city in the world, with 34% of residents having been robbed in the last five years. 

Scrimping on insurance is always a false economy, but when it is putting your property and tenant’s security at risk, having the right cover in place should be a no brainer. If you need to discuss any requirements, our specialist insurance teams are on hand to help.

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