Summer nights can lead to invalid home insurance

29 August 2007
Warm summer nights that encourage home owners to leave windows and doors open while they enjoy the late summer weather can deem home insurance policies invalid if they are unlucky enough to be a victim of theft, warns Confused.com.

Tools and other garden equipment are often left outside, windows and doors in unoccupied rooms are invitations to thieves, and most insurance policies will not pay out if the homeowner did not take reasonable precautions to protect themselves from crime.

According to statistics from the Home Office, unlocked doors account for 31 per cent of burglaries and nine per cent of unlawful entries can be put down to unsecured windows; if there is no evidence of forced entry, insurers will often not pay out.

Debra Williams, managing Director of Confused.com, said: “All too often the warm weather causes people to inadvertently invalidate their insurance due to simple slip-ups, such as leaving their homes open to opportunist burglars and thieves.

“Forgetting to put tools away, leaving doors and windows open, or leaving expensive equipment out in the garden, even for a couple of minutes, can leave you open to crime without the backup of insurance cover. Always remember to ‘lock-up’ after yourself so you don’t lose out”.

Accidental damage caused by having builders on your property can also invalidate any claims you have to make if you do not inform your insurance provider that you are having work done, says Confused.com in support of National Security Week (25th – 31st August).

Confused.com recommends a few steps which homeowners can take in order to protect themselves from theft, and to not put their insurance policy at risk if they are unfortunate enough to be burgled, such as securing doors and windows in unoccupied rooms, locking up garden valuables, not leaving spare keys hidden outside, and not leaving the house unoccupied for 30 or more days as this will invalidate your policy.

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