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Warning over winter vandalism

Warning over winter vandalism

Category: Home insurance

Updated: 27/11/2012
First Published: 01/11/2010

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

Homeowners have been advised to check they have comprehensive home insurance, as vandalism and malicious damage claims typically increase at this time of the year. The unwelcome return to Greenwich Mean Time means the arrival of darkness before most people leave work and the increased prospect of damage being carried out on their homes.

Last November buildings insurance claims increased by 52% as a result of incidents like broken windows and damaged doors, whilst contents insurance claims also spiked above the monthly average by 20%, figures from NFU Mutual show. For the 5.41 million people without any household insurance this news may be quite worrying.The figures will add weight to the argument that the UK's antiquated system of turning the clocks back should be scrapped.

"Once the clocks turn back on 31 October the season of long, dark nights begins. Unfortunately, the onset of fewer daylight hours typically leads to an increase in vandalism and malicious damage," said Paul Richardson, home insurance specialist at NFU Mutual.

"Our advice to homeowners is to remain vigilant. Simple precautions like security lighting can be an effective deterrent to anyone paying your home unwanted attention. If you have a gate to your garden or driveway, keep it closed as unwanted intruders will be less likely to trespass.

"It's also vital homeowners check their insurance policies to make sure they have the right level of protection. While broken glass in windows and doors is likely to be one of the items most claimed for this November, 24% of buildings insurance policies do not provide a day and night repairs service as standard."

Recent research by The Co-operative Bank and Shelter showed that more than five million people – more than a fifth of UK households – are thought to be without household contents cover.

"At the moment everyone is, understandably, looking to save money however a worryingly high percentage of the population do not have home insurances and are leaving themselves open to much greater risks and expenditure in the long run," Lee Mooney, head of home insurance at The Co-operative Insurance, said.

"If there is a fire, originating from an uninsured home, which causes damage to other surrounding properties, the uninsured person would be liable for repairs to all the damaged properties."

Nationwide offers great rates on its home insurance products and customers can save up to 30% when they take out buildings and contents insurance together. Furthermore, existing Nationwide customers can get an extra 15% off their home cover.

Home insurance from Barclays is also worth a look. Some 20% can be saved by applying online and cover comes with three months free insurance, equating to around a 45% discount when paired with the online discount.

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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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