The following opinion article was written by Kevin Roberts, broker and affinity director at Legal & General Insurance.
As we approach the end of the year, focus can often be on the festivities that winter brings, be it Christmas or the New Year holiday. However, while we have celebrations in mind, it is also important to remember to keep our homes protected at this time of the year, particularly as darker evenings tend to bring with them greater risk and opportunity.
With the nights becoming darker and British Summer Time already over, it is no surprise that the opportunity for thieves to take advantage of an unsecured property increases. Our data highlights a worrying statistic that theft of contents increases by 20% in the months of November and December. Further the severity of these burglaries also worsens in the winter months.
It’s vital that customers check alarms, doors and window locks while also reviewing their home insurance around this time of the year as it will give them the peace of mind that their properties are covered should the worst happen.
Though many homes will be covered for burglary, it’s important to be aware of the level of risk associated with some properties and the value of contents they are seeking to cover. It could be that your client’s property is located in an area with a higher risk and more prevalent history of burglaries. Household security will be a significant factor when it comes to securing your client a lower premium, as properties with burglar alarms, high quality locks and double glazing are likely to be looked on more favourably. Finally, lifestyle can be a factor as well. If your client spends long periods away from a property, it could be at a higher risk of intrusion.
Sufficient insurance cover is extremely important, but there are some things that customers can do themselves to help protect their homes. These include leaving a light on or buying a timer if they are away from the house, not leaving valuable items within sight for someone outside and have exterior lighting which is activated if a potential burglar approaches your property.
The final months of the year are an opportune time for theft and it’s important that brokers make their customers aware of these risks and encourage them to update their contents to make sure they are well prepared. It’s often the case that in the unfortunate event of a burglary, the owner of the property discovers too late that they are underinsured.
With darker evenings and colder weather approaching, brokers have a good opportunity to talk to their clients about the heightened risks of theft that come with winter. It’s all too easy to think it won’t happen when it comes to updating an insurance policy, but in the event a burglary does occur, your clients will be thankful they have the appropriate cover in place to insure and hopefully replace their possessions.
The preceding opinion article was written by Kevin Roberts, broker and affinity director at Legal & General Insurance. The views expressed within are not necessarily those of Insurance Business.
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