Halifax home insurance has warned of the danger of leaving houses open to thieves by not securing windows and doors throughout the summer, which can invalidate home insurance claims.
In the run up to National Home Security Week, (August 25th – 31st), Halifax has found that unforced burglary claims soar during the summer months, rising by 50% in August 2006 compared to figures from January of the same year.
More than half of burglaries occur when the home is occupied, so Halifax is urging homeowners to be vigilant about securing their homes against thieves.
Senior underwriting manager Vicky Emmott said: “During the summer, we invariably see claims for unforced burglary increase dramatically, as people leave doors and windows open to keep their homes cool.
We know that opportunist thieves are on the lookout for the chance to steal items left within easy reach such as handbags, laptops, car keys, mobile phones and MP3 Players.
“Burglars can be in and out in seconds, so we are advising people to keep valuables out of sight, and avoid leaving doors and windows open when rooms are unoccupied, or when out in the garden.”
According to Halifax, most home insurance policies stipulate that homeowners should take 'reasonable care' of their possessions, so owners should make a reasonable effort to avoid accidents, thefts and other incidents.
Halifax also recommends joining a neighbourhood watch scheme, keeping opened windows limited to occupied rooms at night, and ensuring that front doors and windows are locked if owners are in the garden.
Unfortunately, concludes Ms Emmott, “those who don't keep home security in mind may find that they are not covered for any resulting stolen items.”
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