Figures have revealed that burglary costs the average homeowner over £2,800 in stolen valuables and almost £600 to pay for damage caused by the break-in. There were 713,000 domestic burglaries in 2015, and while you may see many of these reported in local newspapers you rarely hear about the cost to victims.
Fixing the damage
The damage burglars can cause during a break-in results in costs to repair doors, broken locks and windows, and damage to furniture.
Then there’s the cost of replacing stolen items – particularly jewellery, money and wallets, which tend to be the most desirable items to burglars. But it’s not just the intrinsic cost of these items; sadly the sentimental value can never be replaced.
Computers, cameras, watches and mobile phones are also desirable to thieves. Generally speaking a flagship phone will cost between £500 and £600 to replace and a digital camera between £100 and £250. But again it can be hard to account for the emotional cost of lost pictures and videos.
Protecting your home
Adding security devices to your home will help reduce the chances of your treasured possessions being stolen and give you and your family peace of mind. Installing a burglar alarm or external lights can help deter would-be thieves and you can buy timer switches that turn internal lights on and off while you’re away.
You could also consider upgrading to more secure locks on doors, windows, garages and sheds.
Getting the right cover
According to research carried out by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), one in five households could be underinsured because they don’t know how much their home contents are worth. If you’re unlucky enough to have to make a claim, having insufficient cover could leave you facing an unnecessary bill at a time when you and your family are struggling to deal with the disruption and worry caused by a break-in.
Here’s how to calculate the value of your contents:
- go through each room (include your attic, basement, shed and garage) and make an inventory of all your possessions
- file your receipts, or go online to work out the cost of each item
- tell your insurer about any expensive items you own to make sure they are covered
- contact your insurer to make sure new purchases are covered
Review your cover
Your home and contents insurance should be sufficient to repair any damage and cover the cost of stolen items. It makes sense to review your cover, especially after Christmas or birthdays when you may have bought or received expensive items.