25-11-2014

Christmas Time For Burglars

The presents are under the tree, you’re out enjoying yourself – what a lovely scene for a thief to behold.

Although home burglary has generally decreased in recent years (a total of 245,317 house burglaries recorded in 2011/12, compared with 519,265 in 1997), the festive period is still an active time for burglars and opportunist criminals. For instance Kent Police reported 1,362 burglaries in January 2013 compared to 965 in August 2012, according to UK Crime Stats.

Christmas is therefore an important time to insure your household goods, not least because your home is often full of gifts for loved ones. Now more than ever, these presents are full of the latest technology and expensive toys. In fact, the actual cost of burglary has risen 40% in the last three years. These new tablets, e-books, laptops and expensive phones are often left on display. Ask yourself whether you hide your valuables from prying eyes, or whether you even consider doing so.

Fortunately, our general insurance provider Paymentshield covers the additional value of household gifts over the festive period. An increase in the sum assured of £2,500 for Christmas, Wedding, Birthday and Religious Festivals. This is good news, considering that January consistently shows an increase in burglaries and claims. This is down to several factors: A possible delay in reporting the crime itself, burglars using the opportunity of post-Christmas excesses in goods at the property and when residents return to their burgled home after a Christmas away.

Aside from burglary, are you aware of the other risks that surround a houseful of presents? Accidental damage to the goods themselves is always a possibility. Although cooking is still the biggest cause of Christmas blazes, candles are also an accident waiting to happen, often sitting on the mantelpiece next to cards from loved ones. Statistically, more accidents happen and are claimed over this period. In fact, fire damage on the big day alone is normally up by 120% compared to an average day.

So make sure Christmas doesn’t go out the window and speak to us about protecting your home over the festive period.