Direct Line: beware the empty house

13 December 2006
Direct Line has alerted homeowners to the dangers of leaving homes empty over the Christmas period, as they go to parties or holiday abroad.

Newly bought presents are an enticement to thieves, the home insurance company warns, anticipating that one in four Britons will leave their homes empty for at least one night between Christmas and New Year – rising to 39 per cent in party capital London.

Almost half of Britons leaving homes unoccupied expose new presents with an average worth of £285, the study finds.

Meanwhile, a quarter of those jetting off on overseas holidays told Direct Line they felt their homes were more vulnerable at Christmas than at any other time.

Head of Direct Line Home, Andrew Lowe, observed: "Christmas travel is more popular than ever, but it carries with it increased security risks … there is usually a rise in domestic crime at this time of year."

In separate research just released, More Than insurers found that British homes are 13 per cent more likely to be burgled during December than during any other month.

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