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Heading abroad? Make sure your home’s protected

Heading abroad? Make sure your home’s protected

Category: Home insurance

Updated: 09/06/2015
First Published: 09/06/2015

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 It is now over 6 months old so the content may be out of date.

When planning the things you'll need to do for your much-anticipated summer holiday, investing in travel insurance is probably towards the top of the list. But what about home insurance, or even more pressingly, checking that your home is secure?

Research from M&S Home Insurance has revealed that the typical holidaymaker will leave their home unoccupied for nine days, while 27% plan to get away from it all for two weeks or longer. In total, 82% of respondents are planning a trip in the next 12 months, but it seems that a worrying number won't be taking the necessary precautions – something that could open their homes to the risk of burglary.

In fact, the figures show that almost one in 10 have been a victim of burglary while on holiday, and 22% said that it had happened more than once. Furthermore, the data also revealed that last year the number of burglary claims peaked in July, the prime season for summer holiday getaways. Despite this, 12% won't, or don't know if they will, take any precautions for their home before jetting off.

This could be an expensive, not to mention traumatic, mistake. There'd be nothing worse than returning home from a relaxing break to find that your most treasured possessions had been stolen, so it's worth taking those few extra precautions to give valuable peace of mind.

Happily, many of M&S' respondents were planning to do just that, with the most common security measure taken before going away being to ask a neighbour, friend or family member to keep an eye on the property (70%), followed by moving expensive items out of sight of windows (57%).

Checking there are no unlocked windows or doors should be key last-minute checks – of those who had been burgled previously, 63% said the thief had forced their way in via a window or door, while 8% had accidentally left a window unlocked and 4% said the thief entered through an open garage door – and of course, making sure your home insurance covers you should the worst happen is vital.

"The summer period is an incredibly popular time for the family to get away, so we're urging homeowners to take a little extra time to ensure their home is secure," said Paul Stokes, head of products at M&S Bank. "By taking a few simple security measures before they jet off, homeowners will have added peace of mind, helping them to relax and enjoy their break.

"In addition, holidaymakers should also check their home insurance policy and ensure they're familiar with any exclusions or conditions, such as limits on value and how long the property can be left unoccupied, particularly if heading away for extended periods. This will help ensure the policy provides adequate cover, should the worst happen."

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