Christmas lights all around the country have been switched on and everyone is getting into the festive mood but new figures from Barclays Insurance show that it is not just Santa who comes to visit us at Christmas.
Barclays Insurance found that the number of claims for burglaries increased by 14 per cent in the period just after Christmas. But it is not only the incidence of burglaries that increases after the festive season - the average cost of a home insurance theft claim also jumps due to the rich pickings of Christmas gifts. In January 2006 the average burglary claim was at £6,263, compared to £4,817 for all of 2005 - a difference of almost £1,500 – undoubtedly highlighting how the festive mood could quickly turn sour and into an expensive affair.
Barclays Insurance urges Brits to take care with the following tips to make sure their presents stay with their intended owner and don’t fall prey to burglars:
- Make sure Christmas presents are not on show in a room that can be seen from the outside
- Anyone going on holiday over the Christmas period or simply on a night out should make sure their home does not look as though they are away. For example, keep the lights on, leave the car in the driveway and get a family member or friend to regularly check on the house.
- Make sure new valuable presents are covered on home contents insurance
- Always lock all your doors and windows when leaving the house (even those on upper floors)
- Think about installing an alarm and motion-sensor lights around the house home to deter burglars.
Mark Till, Marketing Director, Barclays Insurance said: “Christmas should be the time of fun and happiness but it has unfortunately also become a time of year where more thefts and burglaries are occurring. Nowadays many presents are high in value but also light and portable, such as laptops, jewellery, gadgets like iPods and BlackBerrys or the latest games console – making them ideal targets for burglars.
“The least you can do to make sure your Christmas doesn’t get spoilt by burglars, is to ensure you have sufficient cover in place as part of your home insurance policy. While your insurance won’t be able to compensate you for the distress a burglary can cause, it will allow you to replace all of your stolen items, so that your Christmas doesn’t have to end in a bitter disappointment.”
Barclays automatically increases its standard contents cover by £3,000 in the month of December. For more information on Barclays home contents insurance and other products, visit Barclays Insurance
Tel: 0207 116 6229
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