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Protect your valuables during darker evenings

Protect your valuables during darker evenings

Category: Home insurance

Updated: 29/09/2015
First Published: 29/09/2015

MONEYFACTS ARCHIVE
This article was correct at the time of publication. It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

The nights are drawing in and it's turning distinctly autumnal, but as well as the annual discussion over when to put the heating on, there's something else you need to consider at this time of year – protecting your valuables.

Under the cover of darkness

Opportunistic thieves will use the earlier cover of darkness to try and access your home or garden unseen, so it's vital that you take even more precautions at this time of year. In fact, Saga Home Insurance's claims data shows that 39% of customers have had something stolen from their garden, from outdoor furniture and barbeques to water features and even trees.

Interestingly, almost half of those aged 18-34 have had something stolen from a garden, even though this is the age group that's least likely to have one. Conversely, only a third of traditionally garden proud over-50s – who typically invest more time and money in their gardens – have fallen victim to garden theft, perhaps because they're more conscientious and lock tools, barbeques and furniture away at night.

Those living in certain areas may want to be more careful, too, with those in London most likely to have something taken from their garden (57%), while South West gardens are statistically the least likely to suffer from theft (25%). But just what are the things most likely to be stolen? Well, from a garden point of view, plants appear to be the most desirable items to thieves, followed by tools and garden furniture, with items stolen adding up to just over £200 on average.

Your home is your castle

It isn't all about the garden, however. Your home can be just as vulnerable at this time of year, particularly if you've been used to leaving your windows open during the summer months, and if you're not careful, you could become a prime target.

This is where a few simple precautions come in, and much of it is age-old advice. Things like double-checking that doors and windows are locked, keeping valuables out of sight and installing burglar alarms should be high on the list of priorities, and you may want to go one step further with things like security lights and motion detectors – a great way to deter would-be thieves from both garden and home thefts.

And, for added peace of mind, make sure to invest in suitable home insurance. It may not stop burglars from targeting your home, but it could lessen the financial impact should the worst happen, as you wouldn't want an incredibly stressful time to be made worse through worrying about the cost of replacing everything. Double-check the small print to ensure your garden equipment is covered, too, and you can be confident that you're doing the best you can to protect your home and garden, as well as your wallet.

Disclaimer: Information is correct as of the date of publication (shown at the top of this article). Any products featured may be withdrawn by their provider or changed at any time.

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