Insurer fears 50% Rise in Burglary Rate during 2009
Norwich Union, one of the biggest UK insurers, predicted burglary rate would increase by 50% by the end of 2009 due to the high unemployment rate under economic recession. As a result, there is an urge of home insurance for home-owners to secure themselves against the high risk of burglary.
The prediction of 50% increase in burglary rate by Norwich Union is highly correlated with the rise in unemployment rate and the economic downturn. Home Office statistics reported 280,000 burglaries in 2008; with average theft claim cost of £1000, we could expect 420,000 burglaries during 2009 costing a total of £421 million, according to Norwich Union.
Home-owners should be alerted by the massive increase in estimated burglary rate. Insurers advise home-owners not to cut back on home insurance even under the recession in order to secure themselves against the high burglary rate.
According to Norwich Union, claims data had been analysed to reveal the prime targets in thefts as below, to signal the home-owners to pay extra attention to these items when they are away:
Advice to reduce risk of burglary
- Simply lock your doors and windows properly when you are not home
- Make sure valuable items are not displayed obviously
- Do not leave any signs of unoccupancy – cancel all the deliveries and invite a trusted neighbour to check your home every now and then when you are away
- Install timers to lights and radio; to allow them to be switched on and off automatically when you are not home
- Get a standard home insurance that covers burglary
Advice on what to do after burgled
1. Call the police immediately
It is very important to call the police straight after you have found your house being burgled. The sooner you report to the police, the greater chance in solving the crime.
2. Leave everything as you found
Do not try to tidy up the mess as most of the burglars would have left some forensic evidences at your property (e.g. fingerprints, footprints and tool marks). It would be easier for Scene of Crime Officer to discover more evidence when searching through the property as the burglars left.
3. Mark the stolen / damaged items
It is helpful if you can identify what have been stolen or damaged within your property. Make a comprehensive list as both the police and insurance provider would need these details.
4. Contact the corresponding authorities
- Contact the bank if any of your debit card, cheque books or credit card had been stolen. Cancel them as soon as possible and request for another issue for replacement.
- You should also contact the bank, if any of the digital storage devices (i.e. laptops, computers, USB, etc.) had been stolen; as these may contain your financial data.
- Contact the relevant authority if your passport or driving licence is missing.
5. Get your crime reference number
After you have reported a crime, you will be given a unique reference number. Keep this, as your insurer will request this from you when making a claim.
6. Contact your Insurer
Having a home insurance, you should be able to claim for your stolen items or damaged property. Contact your insurer as soon as possible while keeping all the receipts and damaged items for loss adjuster to assess the value of them.
7. Secure your home
Fix any damaged doors and windows immediately; upgrade with any superior security devices when necessary to prevent further burglary.
8. Victim Support
If you need any counselling, help or advice; you can always contact Victim Support anytime since your case has been referred by the police. The police will even inform you if the burglar(s) was caught. As a victim, you may get compensation by the offender through court.
It should be noted that having good security devices installed at home can reduce the premium of home insurance. To get a quote on home insurance, Click Here.