Research by Halifax home insurance shows that burglaries increase by around 20 per cent during the winter months and the average cost of a burglary last year was more than £2,000. However, in many cases this disruption and loss can be avoided by taking a few extra measures.
Simple measures can go a long way towards protecting your property. For example, keep valuables out of sight and consider installing a safe in your home for items such as jewellery and credit cards. Fit visible, key-operated window and door locks and don't risk leaving keys outside the property as burglars know where to look. Fit a house alarm too and ask your home insurer to recommend a product as you could earn a discount.
Be careful with items in your garden - keep ladders and bins out of sight as these can be used to gain access to a property. High walls, railings and fence tops can be a good deterrent as can prickly hedges and thorny bushes, particularly when placed near to windows.
If a burglary does occur it's crucial to have suitable home insurance in place - look for policies with home emergency cover that can help make your home safe again following a break-in.
You should also take steps to make the claims process run as smoothly as possible. Keep receipts and photographs of valuable purchases and get your jewellery valued regularly by a reputable jeweler. Report the incident to the police as soon as possible and tell your insurer straightaway.
If you feel your home insurance is insufficient update it immediately and if your policy becomes too expensive shop for cheap home insurance with a comparison website.