Households are being urged to help stay safe at home to prevent opportunist thieves cashing in on Christmas. Halifax Home Insurance reported a 16% increase in claims for theft during December last year, with 489 claims in December 2017 versus 565 in December 2018.*
This year, many people will already be planning for the festive season; buying gifts, heading to parties or jetting away for some winter sun.
Empty homes full of gifts, dark nights and families who are out more than usual are perfect targets for burglars hoping to take advantage during the holiday period.
Tim Downes, Senior Claims Manager, Halifax Home Insurance, said: “It’s that time of year when we focus on celebrating, taking a well-earned rest and spending time with loved ones.
“A burglary or break-in over the holiday season, however, can be devastating during what should be a joyful time.
“Taking a few simple steps to avoid Christmas break-ins can help homeowners to enjoy their time off and have peace of mind that their home and possessions will be protected.”
Top tips from Halifax Home Insurance to protect your home this Christmas:
Be careful with deliveries – packages and post left on your doorstep are a sure sign that no-one is home. Make use of ‘click and collect’ services or have your shopping delivered to a trusted neighbour if you’re not going to be home.
Dispose of present packaging carefully – empty boxes outside your home are a clue to burglars of new purchases indoors.
Don’t leave presents under the tree if it’s visible from a window – this could attract burglars into the home.
Install timers on your lights – this will help create the impression that someone is at home when you’re out.
Be careful with social media – posting a holiday snap or a picture of a new gift is always fun, but could also attract unwanted attention.
Cancel all deliveries if you’re going away – think about asking a trusted friend or neighbour to check in on your home while on holiday.
Make sure that all doors and windows are locked before leaving home – don’t forget about any windows that have wires running out of them for Christmas decorations.
Keep your insurer’s details saved on your phone – in case the worst happens and you need to make a claim.
*Research based on in-house claims data.