Burglary claims soar as the clocks go back

burglary insuranceThe cover of darkness after the clocks go back cloaks burglars and thieves and sends insurance claims soaring.

One insurer explains the cash paid out to settle burglary claims during the winter surges by 21% to £13 million compared to claims made during the summer.

The average cost of a burglary in winter is £1,746, according to the study by The Halifax, compared to £1,269 in the summer.

Claims manager Martyn Foulds said: “Darkness makes life easier for thieves looking for an easy target, so we are reminding homeowners that a few simple steps can go a long way to avoiding the stress and inconvenience a burglary brings.

“While insurance will cover the financial loss, it may not be able to replace unique family heirlooms or items of sentimental value, so it’s always best to take preventative steps to protect the things you treasure most.

The research also revealed the places where homes are most likely to have a visit from burglars.

Meanwhile, another insurance firm suggests calling on neighbours to keep an eye on your home while you are at work or away.

But, says the survey, half of homeowners do not know their neighbour’s first name, more than a third (36%) do not know what they look like and 44% do not know if they have children.

Even worse, says Churchill Insurance, nearly a fifth of us (17%) have not spoken to neighbours in the past month.

“People may be less willing and less able to watch out for each other – realising there is a stranger on a neighbour’s property is very difficult if we cannot recognise the person who lives there. Home insurance is vital should the worst happen, however, maintaining a good relationship with those we live closest to can make our communities a safer and more sociable place to live,” said a spokesman for the firm..

Top 10 Burglary Hotspots 2012

1.         London

2.         Kingston

3.         Romford

4.         Richmond and Twickenham

5.         Manchester

6.         Croydon

7.         Slough

8.         Birmingham

9.         Leeds

10.       Leicester

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