As a survey reveals that a third of households leave gifts under the Christmas tree well before the big day, home insurance provider M&S Money is advising householders to make sure security remains a priority this festive period.
Crime statistics reveal that domestic burglaries increase during the coldest and darkest months of the year - November, December and January (Home Office Report 'Seasonality in recorded crime').
The increased value of property stored in homes in the weeks before Christmas means that householders should be particularly vigilant to the threat of a break-in.
A survey by home insurance provider M&S Money has revealed that security is the last thing on the minds of 39% of householders who say they leave presents under the Christmas tree well before December 25th. Only 7% of householders are security-minded and wait until Christmas morning to put presents under the tree.
Furthermore, only 20% of people say they are 'very confident' about what is covered by their home contents insurance, meaning many people may be unaware they are exceeding the limits of their normal home contents insurance cover.
While 75% of UK households have home contents insurance*, only 7.53% of policies across the market offer unlimited sum cover for the contents of homes**. M&S Home Insurance gives unlimited cover so policyholders can relax knowing that they will never be underinsured, no matter what the value of the presents stored at home***.
David Wells, M&S Head of Insurance, said: "At Christmas it's easy to get caught up in the excitement of the season and forget about home security. However, we all know there are criminals who see this time of the year as providing them with rich pickings.
"Householders can take practical measures to deter burglars and protect their homes by keeping expensive Christmas presents out of view, closing curtains during the long dark December evenings and fitting timers to lights and radios which will create doubt in the burglar's mind."
David added: "Christmas should be a fun time of the year. By making sure you have adequate home insurance you can enjoy festivities in the knowledge that the contents of your home are protected should the worst happen."
Notes to Editors:
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size: 2043 adults. Online survey fieldwork undertaken 28th November-1st December 2008. Figures have been weighted and are representative of GB adults (aged 18+).
* ABI 'UK Insurance – Key Facts', September 2008
* According to a search of the Defaqto-powered Aequos database
** Building and contents unlimited, £500 money cover limit
About M&S Money
M&S Money (the trading name of Marks & Spencer Financial Services) was founded in 1985 as the financial services division of Marks and Spencer Group plc. The company is now a topten credit card provider and the secondlargest travel money retailer in the UK. M&S Money also offers a range of insurance cover, including home insurance and car insurance, as well as loans, savings and investment products.
In November 2004, Marks & Spencer sold M&S Money to HSBC. The Group serves customers worldwide from around 9,500 offices in 86 countries and territories in Europe, the Asia-Pacific region, the Americas, the Middle East and Africa. With assets of US$2,527 billion at 31 December 2008, HSBC is one of the world's largest banking and financial services organisations. HSBC is marketed worldwide as 'the world's local bank'.
M&S Money has an executive committee comprising an equal number of representatives from HSBC and Marks & Spencer. M&S home insurance policies are provided by AXA Insurance UK plc. Terms, conditions, exclusions and limitations apply. Calls may be monitored and recorded.
For further information please call the M&S Money press office:
Media Relations Manager
8 Canada Square
+44 (0) 20 7992 1574
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