Do You Realise Who Has Keys To Your Home
Admiral’s survey found instances where previous owners of a house had used their keys to let themselves in to their old house to steal items from the new owners. The problem is not restricted solely to previous owners, but also people the previous owners had themselves given a key to, who could then use this key to access the property without the need to break in. This emphasises how important it is to change the locks on your property when you move into a new house – you just don’t know who’s got copies of keys, or how many copies are floating about out there.
Spare keys are, of course, important, and save a lot of hassle in the short term if your main set goes missing. Insurance companies advise that these are kept in a secure key safe rather than left in the traditional hiding places of under a mat or plant pot. Burglars are very aware of the latter hiding places, and there is no security in place at all by leaving them there. Also avoid leaving keys on display, either by the door or window. The old trick of burglars reaching for keys through letter boxes or cat flaps is still very much in vogue, so hide away those keys as best you can.
The issue of whether insurance companies will fully cover burglaries that take place when the culprit has a key is a sticky one. There is not a universal answer as some insurers will pay out, whilst others will not, as they will see it as negligence on your part. It’s well worth checking this issue out with the company before taking out insurance if you think it may be an issue. There may be an add-on available that will cover such a situation, and usually it will not increase the premium much, but of course you need to have it in place in order to be able to claim against it.
As a reminder, the usual steps should also be taken if they have not already been done – installing security lights around your property, ensuring all exterior buildings are locked, fitting locks to downstairs windows, getting a regularly-serviced burglar alarm fitted, and considering timers on lights if you do venture out at all. Also, as touched on above, ensure that your home and contents insurance is fully up to date and covers the values of any belongings that could potentially be taken in a burglary.
Whilst we’ll mostly be in our homes this November, it’s worth remembering that burglaries do also happen when the house is occupied, so please do not relax your security measures just because you’re going to be home. A burglary whilst the house is occupied can be far more traumatic than one whilst the house is empty because of the added threat to your personal safety, so don’t let up with your precautions.
Here’s hoping we all get through this week of lockdown with health and sanity vaguely intact, and that December will see slightly brighter times. Meanwhile, stay safe, and if you have any issues with locks or security, please still do give me a call on 07990573857