Home insurance at risk as homeowners break into own homes

29 April 2008 / by Rebecca Sargent
A third of homeowners believe they could break into their own homes within minutes, new research from Zurich Insurance has revealed.

The study found that as many as six million Brits thought their security was easy to bypass, and one in ten have actually proven this by successfully breaking into their own homes.

Of those who managed to force entry, two thirds did so in less than 15 minutes, whilst more than a quarter accomplished it in as little as five minutes. A common point of entry for those who have found themselves locked out is, according to the research, a window left carelessly open.

Those who are casual enough to leave a window open when they go out could find their home insurance is invalid.

The study also questioned burglars to find out more about break-ins. Of those questioned, the study found that 87 per cent of burglars said that break-ins are normally opportunistic. According to burglars, leaving a window open, not having a burglar alarm and accidentally leaving the back door open are common causes for burglary.

The burglars questioned also offered tips on avoiding being a victim of a burglary, suggesting the use of simple deterrents such as window locks and external security lights. Traditional British neighbourly values also remain prominent as deterrents for burglars, 56 per cent of homeowners ask a neighbour to keep an eye on their property whilst away, and 64 per cent of burglars questioned said this would be deterrent enough.

Reformed criminal, turned probation officer, Bob Turney, said: "Burglars want an easy way in – and most burglaries are simply a result of thieves taking advantage of householders who've left their homes wide open and there for the taking.

"And if you know that your home security isn't what it should be and can break into your property in less than five minutes, a professional burglar can do it in half the time."

Managing director for Direct & Partnerships at Zurich Insurance, Mike Quinton, supported this, stating: "If homeowners can break-in to their own properties that's a major warning sign for them to take stock of their security measures.

"While you don't need to turn your house into a fortress, it is always important to take proper precautions and update your home security." Mr Quinton concluded.

©Fair Investment Company Ltd