Unfortunately we all know that crime and more specifically home burglaries, is a fact of life and has been since the dawn of time. Does this mean that we should just put up with it? As we are specialists in high value home insurance I’m sure it will come as no surprise that here at McLeod Insurance we are not keen on sitting back and doing nothing.

So what can we do to protect ourselves from home burglaries?

1. Stop the burglary in the first place.
2. Insure our contents so that we are not left out of pocket.

Lets look at the first point. Stop the burglary in the first place.

How do we go about stopping the crime in the first place?

First up we can try to make it more difficult for the potential burglar to break in. Hopefully we are all savvy enough these days to ensure that doors and windows are locked at all times and more particularly at night or when we are away.

Speak to any policeman or crime prevention agency and the first thing they will tell you is visual deterrent. If your house looks difficult to break into then they are more likely to go next door for the softer target. That said if you have a high value home the burglar could well think it is worth the risk.

Home Security Systems

Once the basics are complete you will need to look at a suitable alarm system. The marketplace is a wash with solutions in this field but we would advise the following:

1. Ensure your alarm system has round the clock effective monitoring.
2. Add Police response to your system.
3. Add CCTV to your system.

setting the alarm

Round the clock monitoring: “81% of UK burglars wouldn’t be put off by an unmonitored alarm.” So the vast majority of burglars are not put off if they realize the alarm is not monitored. When was the last time you checked on a neighbor when you heard the alarm going off? 90% of us consider the alarm going off as noise pollution rather then a neighbour in distress.

An alarm system that is monitored means that once triggered it is never ignored. You and any other key holders will be notified straight away and this gives you time to secure the property.

Adding the Police response to a system ensure another level of protection for your home. If you are out of the country or hours away from the property then it will give you added piece of mind to know that the police have been informed.

CCTV is also a great deterrent as 67% of burglars say that CCTV would deter them from targeting a property.

alarm-permits

Insure your contents.

Once you are happy that you have put in place a suitable amount of visual deterrents you can turn your attention to making sure that you are properly covered from an insurance point of view if the deterrents are not successful.

Home insurance has changed a lot over the years. Currently most people use the Internet to source their home insurance. The bulk of the population will use comparison sites or go direct to the insurer. Home insurance is a competitive marketplace and all to often company use price as the only differentiating factor between policies. This is a blunt tool as there is more to a home insurance policy than price alone.

We have another post on our website that goes into greater detail with regards to the differences between basic or standard home insurance policies and bespoke home insurance policies. For now however we would simply say that on the topic of home security we would recommend that your insurance policy is both quality and comprehensive.

Only the other day we met a client who did not realize that the policy would not have paid out if she had made a claim due to a specific clause. The client thought that the policy paid out up to a certain amount and she had decided that if her contents were a little more valuable she was happy to loose out on the extra. However the clause stated that if she undervalued her contents the policy could be null void and therefore would not have paid out on anything!

These are the dangers of filling out your policy online and without the correct level of scrutiny of the policy details. As a specialist high value home insurance broker we will ensure that this type of issue never arises with any of our policies.

In conclusion here at McLeod Insurance we recommend that we meet the potential crime head on. Firstly, attempt to foil the crime before it takes place and secondly, ensure we are properly protected if the worst takes place.

Richard McLeod
Director at McLeod Risk Services LLP
Richard McLeod LinkedIn profile

Top tip

Using an independent bespoke insurance broker such as McLeod Insurance, can reduce the cost of your policy, whilst also achieving the broadest cover in the market.

Direct policies are NOT necessarily the best value.