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Can Neighbourhood Watch status affect home insurance?

Understanding the impact of Neighbourhood Watch groups on home insurance

Sam Meadows
Written by  Sam Meadows
Donna McConnell
Reviewed by  Donna McConnell
5 min read
Updated: 11 Mar 2024

You may have always dismissed those yellow signs fixed on lampposts around your neighbourhood, but you may not have realised that the Neighbourhood Watch could actually make your home insurance cheaper. In our guide you’ll find out how membership can affect your premiums and how you can benefit.

What is the Neighbourhood Watch? 

The Neighbourhood Watch is a charitable organisation made up of neighbours who work together to reduce the risk of crime in their areas. With 2.3 million members, it is the largest voluntary crime prevention movement in England and Wales. 

It launched in the UK in the 1980s with the goal of creating communities where neighbours watch out for each other and share warnings. Members are supposed to meet regularly to discuss issues in their communities, and also keep an eye out for each other when it comes to crime and antisocial behaviour. 

There is a national umbrella organisation called Neighbourhood Watch Network, but most schemes are run by local volunteers. 

home insurance

Do Neighbourhood Watch groups affect home insurance? 

It could do, maybe directly or indirectly. Some insurers offer discounts to customers who sign up, as taking steps to protect your home could reduce the risk of crime – however this isn’t always the case. 

Membership could also indirectly lead to cheaper home insurance premiums. There is evidence to suggest that Neighbourhood Watch schemes reduce crime. A study by the College of Policing suggested that schemes prevent some 15 crimes in every 100 in the UK. 

One of the factors insurers use to set your home insurance premium is the risk of crime or burglary in the area you live in. This is because a break in would mean a claim on your policy. Therefore, living in a Neighbourhood Watch area means you may be viewed as having a lower risk of a claim and offered a cheaper premium. 

When getting a quote for home insurance through MoneySuperMarket we will ask you whether you are a member of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme. 

What do Neighbourhood Watch members do? 

Members of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme are expected to work together and with police to help keep their neighbourhoods safe and free from crime. On the most basic level, you will be expected to keep an eye out for your neighbours, watching their houses when they go on holiday, for example. 

Volunteers will also put up what is known as a “cocoon” around recently burgled homes, meaning members agree to be more vigilant than usual and collectively keep a close eye for suspicious activity. This is supposed to reduce the chances of a repeat event. 

You might also be expected to attend Neighbourhood Watch meetings and share police information with other members.  

It is also wise to take steps to protect your home from burglary and break ins. This might include installing a burglar alarm or buying a timer-switch for your lights for when you go on holiday.  

There are also other steps you can take, like always keeping your doors locked and your windows closed. You can find out more about preventing burglary in our guide here

What are the benefits of joining Neighbourhood Watch? 

Neighbourhood Watch says that its members feel safer and are more connected with others in their communities. If you are interested in crime prevention in your area, you will also be invited to police webinars and be directly consulted on your opinion on local issues. 

The organisation also offers its members crime prevention advice and even discounts on home security systems. At the time of writing, Neighbourhood Watch members were being offered 50 per cent off security systems sold by SimpliSafe. 

There are also less tangible benefits, such as feeling like your neighbours are looking out for you and your family. When you go on holiday you can ask fellow members to watch your house for peace of mind while you are away.  

And, of course, you could save some money on your home insurance too. 

Can I join a Neighbourhood Watch group in my area? 

You can find out if there is a scheme in your area on the Neighbourhood Watch website. Enter your postcode and find your local scheme. There will also be tell-tale signs in your area, such as the famous yellow signs attached to lampposts.  

Then you will need to register as an individual member to join. Membership is free. 

Once you’ve joined, then you will be able to team up with the rest of your community keeping an eye out for crime – from home break-ins to car theft – and lower-level antisocial behaviour. 

If there isn’t a scheme in your area already, then you can always speak to your neighbours and think about starting one. 

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