Home insurance Updated:
The Christmas shopping season is in full swing, but unfortunately, this means that many people's homes will be filled to the brim with enticing goodies – and opportunistic burglars may be looking for ways to take advantage.
According to figures from The Co-operative Insurance, the nation is full of particularly organised Christmas shoppers this year, with 42% of respondents saying that they planned to have finished their gift-buying by 22 November – which means that many households will already have finished the big Christmas shop!
A further 33% are planning to hit the shops between today and 6 December, the most popular time to shop, meaning that the majority of people won't be leaving things until the last minute. However, no matter when you're planning to do the shopping, you'll probably spend a fair bit – the average amount consumers will spend on gifts is set to be £437, while 6% expect to spend over £1,000 – which means you'll be stashing away some truly pricey treats.
Not only does it make sense that burglars will be on the prowl when there are likely to be a lot more goodies around, but the statistics back it up: thefts are officially the most prevalent in the winter months, increasing by 38% compared with other times of year. So just what can you do to protect your parcels? Here are a few top tips:
"As Christmas approaches, houses begin to fill up with valuable items, all of which are desirable to thieves, which many people have saved up for months to afford," said Jonathan Guy, head of Claims at Co-op Insurance. "Many people will be visiting their nearest and dearest over the holidays but nobody should have to deal with somebody entering their home and stealing their possessions.
"Our research has shown that simply installing a security light outside the home can deter burglars from targeting properties. If you are going away, you could ask a family member or neighbour to visit your property to keep a check on things… Prevention is always better than cure, and a few simple steps can ensure that nobody has a 'Blue Christmas' this year."
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