Submitted by: Sofia Abasolo
As the weather improves and we feel the summer sun s warm rays approaching, there are increasing concerns about theft among homeowners and home insurance companies alike.. Two insurance companies, esure and Confused.com, are encouraging home owners to purchase home insurance in case they should be a target for thieves.
According to esure Home Insurance, people are increasingly using their gardens and sheds to store personal possessions because so many homeowners have chosen to convert traditional storage spaces such as lofts and garages. They also state that nearly 650,000 UK households have had items stolen from their gardens in the last year.
Recent research showed shocking statistics. 11% of homeowners will spend more than 500 on their gardens this year. Items will include tools, equipment, ornaments and furniture. On the other hand, it was also suggested that many are failing to make sure these possessions are safely stored away.
Worryingly, the study found that 93% of homeowners regularly leave items unsupervised out in the garden overnight. Yhe most common item was jet washers, followed by children’s toys and garden tools. Although 14% value their shed contents at more than 1,500, of the 69% households with a shed, 9% never lock it, which could render their home insurance policy invalid.
The head of risk and underwriting, Mike Pickard, showed much concern as he stated: “Even household items are now being stored outdoors, blurring the distinction between home contents and outbuilding and garden contents. Homeowners should check the limits of their insurance policies because some are relatively low and in the event of an outdoor’ theft not everything may be covered if your shed is bulging with valuables.”
In the meantime, Confused.com is urging households to make sure they are careful not to be lax about security over the summer. The company advises people to make sure windows and doors are closed when they are not present.
Following on this note, Simon Lamble, product developer for Confused.com, said: “Leaving your back door or kitchen window open during a hot sunny afternoon might seem harmless but the moment you have left the room, you are vulnerable to opportunistic thieves who can break in with ease. Insurance companies will not pay out for this, as it is your own lack of security that is at fault.”
Mr Lamble advises homeowners to fit necessary security devices such as a visible alarm system. “If you have stated in your insurance policy that you have security measures in place, you must ensure that they are up-to-date and that they match the ones on the system. If not, then any insurance claim could be void,” he explains.
He also added that proper arrangements should be made while residents are on holiday, for example locking doors and windows and trying to hide the fact people are away. Finally, he encourages people to be as a whole vigilant about garden security.
“Make sure that you lock all tools and ladders away at night, and that your insurance covers everything which you keep in there, in case someone does force their way in,” he says, concluding with the final warning: “Once again, you won’t get a pay out if you haven’t got the right contents insurance, or if you leave anything out, so be vigilant.
About the Author: Sofia is an author of several articles pertaining to Home Insurance. She is known for her expertise on the subject and on other Business and Finance related articles. See