Top 20 burglary hotspots revealed
Homeowners in London and Bradford are the most likely in the UK to make a claim for theft or burglary on their home insurance.
After analysing three million home insurance quotes put into its website over the past year, moneysupermarket.com also reveals that Stoke Newington in North London had the highest number of claims for theft from the home or garden with 34 per 1,000 people living in the area. It was closely followed in the list by Apperley Bridge in Bradford and West Bromwich, which took second and third place respectively.
"Home is where the heart is, and there is no denying that a burglary in your home is an emotional and frightening experience," says Julie Fisher, head of home insurance at Moneysupermarket.com.
"However, being in a higher risk area doesn't necessarily mean where you live is bad or rife with crime - many thieves will target more affluent areas purely for the rewards on offer."
She adds: "Homeowners need to be extra vigilant when it comes to security - installing timers on your lights and ensuring items of value are kept away from your windows are easy steps to take to reduce risk. But you never know when an opportunistic thief may strike, so it's crucial to ensure your home contents insurance is fully up to date, and is at a high enough level to cover all your belongings sufficiently."
10 ways to protect your home from thieves
1. Ensure you lock all windows and doors before leaving the house
It may seem obvious but it's worth double-checking.
2. Check that your locks are in full working order
Locks have a limited lifespan and if yours have seen better days it will be easier for a thief to get in. A top-notch lock can also reduce your home insurance premiums.
3. Keep valuable items away from the window
You know when you walk past a shop window and spot an amazing top and simply have to have it? Well, the same thing happens to thieves, only it's your window and your laptop.
4. Don't leave your valuables lying about the house either
Thieves don't want to spend hours in your home hunting for things, so by hiding away your jewellery, laptops, cameras, and MP3 players they are less likely to get nicked.
5. Don't leave your keys in obvious places
Thieves may watch your home before they strike so if they see you sticking your keys under the doormat they've got an easy way in. Also watch out for ‘hook and crook' thieves who will hook your keys through the letterbox if they are left close enough to the door.
6. Install an alarm
A professionally installed and maintained alarm will not only improve your security, it could also lower your home insurance premiums.
7. Get a fake alarm box fitted
If you can't afford a full alarm system get a fake alarm box fitted, it will make thieves think twice.
8. Set your lights on timers
Set lights to come on at various intervals if you are away so your home appears occupied.
9. Install security lighting
If your house lights up like Blackpool Tower when someone walks up the drive thieves will avoid it.
10. Lay down gravel
Nothing announces someone's presence quite like the crunch of gravel so whether you lay it along your drive or simply in flowerbeds under windows it's an excellent security measure.
The 20 UK postcode districts most likely to claim for theft on their home insurance:
|POSTCODE||TOWN LOCATION||CITY||No OF THEFTS PER 1000 ENQUIRIES|
|3||B71||West Bromwich||West Midlands||31.7|
|5||LS13||Bramley, Rodley, Swonnow||Leeds||30.0|
|6||LS15||Austhorpe, Barwick-in-Elmet, Colton, Cross Gates, Halton, Halton Moor, Scholes, Whitkirk||Leeds||28.9|
|7||BD18||Saltaire, Shipley, Windhill, Wrose||Bradford||28.6|
|8||LS7||Chapel Allerton, Chapeltown, Little London, Weanwood, Potternewton, Sheepscar||Leeds||27.4|
|9||DN2||Intake, Wheatley, Wheatley Hills||Doncaster||27.3|
|11||LS8||Fearnville, Gipton, Gledhow, Harehills, Moortown, Oakwood, Roundhay||Leeds||27.1|
|12||UB7||West Drayton, Harmonsworth, Sipson, Yiewsley, Longford||Greater London||26.4|
|15||B75||Sutton Trinity, Falcon Lodge, Rectory||Birmingham||25.9|
|16||DN35||Cleethorpes||North East Lincolnshire||25.9|
|17||S13||Handsworth, Richmond, Woodhouse||Sheffield||25.8|
|18||BD2||Eccleshill, Fagley, Wrose||Bradford||25.6|
|19||LS12||Armley, Farnley, New Farnley, Wortley||Leeds||25|
Does exactly what it says on the tin: covers the contents of your home for theft and damage and also may insure certain possessions (jewellery, cycles) outside of the home. Things to watch for include the excess and also the maximum payout on individual items. Another grey area is kitchen fittings, as some contents policies say these are not contents but part of the fabric of the property and covered by buildings insurance and some buildings policies don’t cover them because they regard them as contents.