Britons remain at risk from burglars over Christmas but will have a total of £7.7 billion, or £300 each, on gifts in their homes, Direct Line Home Insurance has found.
Figures from the Home Office found that there were close to one million burglaries last year, with a fifth of these taking place because people did not take basic measures to protect their homes.
Last Christmas Direct Line experienced a 20 per cent (£214 average) jump in the value of claims made by customers whose homes had been burgled.
"In the winter months our experience shows that burglars are more likely to select homes they know are empty, break in at specific times and rob at leisure, with presents under the Christmas tree acting as an added incentive," said Simon Ziviani, from Direct Line Home Insurance.
"Increased darkness equals increased opportunity for burglars to go about their business uninterrupted. It is important homeowners consider reviewing their security arrangements and take extra precautions to ensure a safe and happy Christmas period."
Direct Line found that crime is made particularly easy for burglars as many presents are left on full view, with the a typical home having £230 of gifts left under the Christmas tree.
The research also highlights that many people will receive presents that burglars traditionally find easy to sell-on, making them attractive theft targets.To read more about home insurance, click here.
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