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Direct Line holiday checklist: Passport, tickets, home insurance

14 July 2009 / by Rachael Stiles

Brits who are heading off on holiday shouldn't forget to make sure their home is protected, as 800,000 UK households were the victim of crime whilst the owners were away.

Direct Line has found that 16 per cent of burglaries have occurred while the homeowner was on holiday, making for an unhappy return from their trip.

Correlatively, June and August emerged as the most common months for break-ins, with more home insurance claims being made than at any other time of the year, as opportunist thieves took advantage of households being away from home enjoying the sun.

Many homeowners often do not protect their homes sufficiently when they head off on holiday, Direct Line home insurance suggests, failing to take some simple preventative measures.

The data shows that 35 per cent do not ask a neighbour or friend to keep an eye on their property, and 45 per cent fail to leave contact details with anyone in case of an emergency.

Another 45 per cent do not ask anyone to go in and clear the post, a sure sign that the property is unoccupied, and only 35 per cent set their lights to a timer to give the impression that someone is at home.

A large majority do not lock their valuables away when they go on holiday, with 83 per cent leaving their most prized possessions within the clutches of thieves.

Commenting on the research, Andrew Lowe, head of Direct Line home insurance, said: "Burglars can pick up on various clues to establish whether a house is likely to be unoccupied, ranging from an unruly front lawn to newspaper deliveries or post clogging the letter box area, or even by overhearing people discussing their upcoming holidays in public places.

"Householders can do several things to minimise the risks of being burgled when they are away from the home," Mr Lowe added, such as locking all doors and windows, installing and activating a burglar alarm, cancelling deliveries, such as newspapers, giving a key to any house-sitters or neighbours who are looking in on the property, and not leaving the key under a mat or other typical hiding place.

You could protect your home with Direct Line home insurance – apply online today and get half price contents cover

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