Date Published 20 April 2012
For one in four people, having trustworthy neighbours is the key to feeling most secure at home, according to the latest Association of British Insurers consumer survey.
But the findings highlight that many homeowners are needlessly putting themselves at risk of financial disaster by overlooking basic security precautions.
To help homeowners protect themselves, the ABI has produced a guide on home insurance and some answers to common home insurance questions.
Nearly three in ten people admit to leaving doors unlocked and windows open when going out briefly, despite the fact that the survey showed 42% of people recognise the importance of good locks.
With 36% of all burglaries being opportunistic, failing to secure doors and windows is an open invitation to thieves, particularly as we approach summer. And with an estimated quarter of households admitting to having no contents insurance at all, mistakes like these could leave people footing a hefty bill.
The two new ABI guides offer advice on how to ensure you buy the right amount of cover and clearly set out what is covered by standard buildings and contents insurance and options people can pay extra for, such as accidental damage cover. The ABI has also produced a home security guide providing advice such as what to do if you are leaving your home unoccupied for a long period and how this might affect your insurance.
Nick Starling, Director of General Insurance at the ABI said: "While it can be reassuring for householders to have neighbours they can trust, this alone cannot substitute the value of sensible home security measures. Common mistakes, such as leaving doors unlocked and windows open, could invite thieves, putting your possessions at risk. And with one in four households without contents insurance, homeowners could be left footing a big bill to replace valuables.
"Following sensible security measures and ensuring your property and its contents are adequately covered are the wise steps people should follow to protect their homes."