People in London are the most likely in the UK to make a claim for theft on their home insurance policy, despite a Manchester postcode taking the top spot for the area where the highest proportion of theft claims are made, research from moneysupermarket.com found.
Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, Manchester, tops the postcode chart
London claims half of the top 20 postcodes
Britain’s number one comparison site analysed over 1.1 million home insurance enquiries made on the site in 2009 and found London held ten of the top 20 postcode districts most likely to have made a claim for theft, an increase of 100 per cent on the previous year. Close behind are Manchester, Leeds and Bristol, each of which have two postcode districts in the top 20. The research revealed Chorlton-Cum-Hardy, the suburban area of the city of Manchester (M21) takes the top spot overall in the UK, while Blackheath (SE3) and Hammersmith (W6) are the most ‘at-risk’ postcode districts in London for theft-related insurance claims. Other postcode districts with a high chance of claiming for theft and burglary include Finsbury Park in London (N4) as well as the affluent suburb of Roundhay in Leeds (LS8).*
Julie Owens, head of home insurance at moneysupermarket.com said: “Home is where the heart is and there’s no denying that having it burgled is an emotional and frightening experience. Major cities, like London and Manchester, and affluent areas are a target for criminals and the research highlights a broad mix of areas across the north and south of the UK so it is clear that no matter where you live, there is always a risk your home could become a victim of theft and it is therefore vital you have adequate home insurance cover in place, something many people still do not do.
“Properties classified as being in a ‘high-risk’ area – whether that be for crime, or something like flooding or subsidence for example, could affect the price of your insurance premiums. Unfortunately there is no escaping this and to make matters more complicated, there are no hard and fast rules which apply. Most insurers have a blanket approach when it comes to assessing postcode districts for home insurance premiums. This really needs to change; if houses are evaluated on a case by case basis it would mean homeowners received quotes at the best possible prices for their individual circumstances.
“With recent statistics reporting that last summer insurers handled almost 80,000 domestic burglary claims paying out £84 million,** homeowners need to be extra vigilant when it comes to security. You never know when an opportunistic thief may strike, so it’s crucial you ensure home contents insurance is fully up to date, and is at a high enough level to cover all belongings sufficiently.”
The 20 UK postcode districts most likely to claim for theft on their home insurance:
Results based on 1.13 million home insurance quotes on moneysupermarket.com for twelve months (full year 2009)
Percentage related to households affected by theft or burglary in that postcode district
moneysupermarket.com’s top tips to keep your home safe from thieves
Keep all items of value away from windows and out of sight from opportunistic thieves
Ensure you lock all windows and doors before leaving the house
Regularly check the state of your locks, and where necessary replace older, weaker ones with new locks. Five-lever mortise locks are recommended for external doors while windows should ideally have two bolt locks.
Don’t leave high value items lying around the house, lock them away safely
Install a good home security system
When leaving the house for a lengthy period of time, put a timer on your light switches to give the impression that you are at home.
If you are away, remember to cancel newspaper and milk deliveries and ask someone you can trust to open and close the curtains and collect mail.
Don’t leave keys in obvious places such as under a doormat. Also beware of ‘hook n crook’ thefts – where keys are left so close to a door that a burglar can simply hook them through a letterbox and open the door.
Install security lighting – illuminate your visitors for their safety as well as your own. Unwelcome visitors are less likely to loiter if they’re ‘in the spotlight’.