Darker evenings make it much easier for thieves to gain access to property without being spotted.
That explains why our latest number crunching has found that the highest rate of insurance claims for burglaries happen between the months of September and November.
We analysed over 2.7 million home insurance quotes run on our site and found that of the 2.1% policy holders who had made a burglary claim in the past three years, 2.26% had made their claims in autumn compared to 2.06% in spring.
Now’s the time to act
The clocks go back on October 25 this year, but it’s already getting darker earlier as we head towards September, so take action now to protect your home.
Here are 10 ways to make your property safe.
1. Set timers
There’s no bigger giveaway to burglars that you’re not at home than all the lights being off in the early evening.
Set timers on any plug-in lamps you have so that they can go on intermittently while you’re not there, making it look as though you’re at home.
2. Conceal valuables
Don’t leave valuable items on display so that they can be easily seen by anyone walking past your window.
Keep them where they aren’t on view so burglars won’t be tempted to break in.
3. Fit an alarm
Install an alarm system. This will be a major deterrent to burglars and many alarm systems contact the police automatically in the event of an intruder.
Many home insurers offer a discount on premiums if you have an alarm too.
4. Lock up
Always lock windows and doors before you go out, and at night when you go to bed.
If any of your locks are insecure, it’s worth investing in better ones to protect your property.
5. Talk to the local police
Police are often happy to advise on home security measures and may even be prepared to visit your property to offer tips.
Contact your local police station for more information.
6. Join Neighbourhood Watch
Sign up to your Neighbourhood Watch scheme if you have one. This means neighbours keep an eye out for each other’s properties and any suspicious activity.
Display the scheme sticker in your window to show burglars you’re a member and that others living nearby will be watching your home.
7. Improve boundaries
As well as ensuring your actual property is secure, check the boundaries around your home.
Are fences and hedges secure, or are there any gaps a burglar could squeeze through? Put in a gate if necessary – the more obstacles a burglar faces, the less appealing your property will be.
8. Keep shrubs and hedges trimmed
Overgrown hedges can help to ensure burglars aren’t spotted while they gain access to your property.
Make sure hedges are trimmed regularly so they can’t provide a hiding place.
9. Install security lights
Outside light is another deterrent to burglars. Fit sensor lights that detect movement and will turn on if someone is near your property.
10. Have comprehensive cover in place
Make sure you have comprehensive home insurance in place to protect you if the worst happens.
While it won’t make the fact you’ve been burgled any less upsetting, it will ensure you don’t lose out financially. Annual buildings and contents insurance is available for £132 a year on average, which often provides an unlimited amount of content cover.
Dan Plant, consumer finance expert at MoneySuperMarket said: “When running a quote, it’s important to put in as close a figure as you think is accurate for the value of contents you have in your home, so you have enough cover, and also don’t pay over the odds for something you don’t need.”
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