ISLANDERS are being warned to make sure their household insurance policies will stand up to festive mishaps.
The average claim goes up at this time of year as people host parties, stock their fridges and freezers with expensive food and store high value gifts in the run up to Christmas.
Last December the average home insurance claim, at just over £1,260, was 16% higher in December than during the rest of the year.
‘As well as accidental damage, Christmas is a time of year when opportunist thieves and burglars know that people have more expensive items in their homes. They could well be on the look out for unattended houses and so it’s very important to make sure they are secure and that contents are properly insured,’ said Rossborough director, Rob Hewlett.
‘Even having a fridge and freezer well stocked can prove expensive if there is a power cut. So leading up to Christmas we would advise homeowners to check their insurance policies to ensure they’re automatically given extra Christmas cover.’
Mr Hewlett said that each policy was different but that the policies offered by Rossborough offer some level of increased cover for religious festivals. Some policies will automatically cover for Christmas gifts and increase the contents for the month of December by 20% or £5,000, he said.
According to national crime statistics there was a 14% rise in domestic burglaries in December last year, as well as a 25% increase in car accidents. Christmas Day was the least likely day to be burgled, while 31 December is one of the five worst days of the year for burglary.
There are a number of simple steps people can take to reduce the risk of being burgled, such as:
- Keeping expensive gifts hidden away in the attic and not under tree.
- Ensuring packaging is as unidentifiable as possible when throwing it out; television, laptop and tablet boxes are a beacon to burglars.
- Double-checking home security before going out to a Christmas or New Year party.
- Leaving on lights or the TV or radio so that intruders think you are in.
Mr Hewlett added that If you are going to be away for Christmas, jewellery and items of a higher sentimental value should be kept in a safe or at least out of sight. He suggested taking photographs of such items, including any hallmarks they have and writing down serial numbers. This will help with any claims process and will also help the police with their investigation.
‘People can definitely decrease their chances of becoming targeted by thieves just by taking a few common sense precautions. The last thing anyone wants at this time of year is to have the trauma and upset of dealing with the aftermath of a burglary,’ said Mr Hewlett.