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Protect your home at Christmas – a burglar advises

Jasmine Birtles 9th Dec 2013 3 Comments

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Home insurance is a must if you want to protect your house and all your expensive new presents this Christmas. We’ve had some tips from an ex-burglar on how to protect your home at this vulnerable time of year – so check out his advice and pick up our insurance bargains below.

During the winter months there’s a huge increase in the amount of burglaries, leaving the unfortunate victims significantly worse off. Despite the credit crunch, people will still end up spending a fair amount on Christmas, and worst of all, keep all these brand-new, expensive items in their house. Sounds like the perfect place for an opportunistic burglar doesn’t it? Well… let’s find out.


Top tips from an ex-con

Here are some top tips from ex-burglar and home security expert Michael Fraser on how to keep your home and contents safe over the festive season:

  • Don’t leave door keys in obvious hiding places such as underneath a pot or a mat or dangling in the letterbox. Thieves know all the tricks.
  • Keep hedges at the front of the property low – don’t give the burglar the cover he requires
  • Paint drainpipes with anti-climb paint and install motion sensitive security lighting around the exterior of the property
  • Fit a brightly-coloured burglar alarm and place high up and prominently to the exterior of your house
  • Always lock up tools and garden furniture that will help a burglar break in
  • Always shred confidential paperwork before disposing of it
  • Take dated photographs of your rooms so that in case you are the victim of a burglary, you can provide photographic evidence of your contents
  • Keep suitcases in your loft or attic as these can be used to carry valuables away
  • Make sure your presents and receipts aren’t visible from outside and don’t keep the presents all in one place – make it difficult for the burglar
  • Don’t put presents under the tree until the night before Christmas. It makes them an obvious target for burglars. Make sure the curtains are closed when you do.
  • Make sure you have a good insurance policy to protect yourself if the worst does happen. See our article on how to cut your home insurance costs.


Top home insurance picks

Extra home contents cover over Christmas with the Post Office

Home insurance is the last thing on your mind over Christmas, but with all the valuable presents in the house it’s still important. Fortunately, with the Post Office you can enjoy an extra 10% contents cover for Christmas. Conditions and exclusions apply, within your chosen limits of cover. Full details available in policy document.

Great deals with HSBC

Protect your home and belongings with home insurance from HSBC. HSBC Home Insurance offer three types of cover: Buildings and Contents, Buildings only and Contents only. If your keys are lost or stolen, contents cover can pay for your new locks. Read more here.

New deal from Nationwide

Nationwide Building Society is offering a new lower price on its home insurance,  including a 40% online introductory discount when purchasing buildings and content policy together online.

Double discounts from the Co-operative

The Co-operative is currently offering up to 25% off your home insurance when you take out buildings and contents cover together. You can also earn no-claims discount for buildings & contents for one or more claim-free years and receive up to 30% discount (if you’re a new customer) or up to 40% discount (if you’re renewing). Get a quote here.

Get  50% off by applying online with Churchill

If you haven’t claimed in the last five years or more, Churchill will give you a whopping 50% off buildings and contents insurance if you apply online. They will also provide alternative accommodation if you’re left without a roof over your head (policy limits apply). See more here.

Buy online and save at least 40% with Direct Line

If you take out a home insurance policy with Direct Line, you’ll get 30% off of both their standard and plus policies, with an extra 10% off when you buy online. This deal is for new customers only. See more details here.

Savings with Prudential home insurance

Prudential offer different levels of discounts depending on your circumstances, including a 20% introductory new-policy discount if you buy online. PLUS up to 30% discount if you’ve been claim free.

Claim £30 cashback with Swinton

Swinton offer three types of cover: Buildings and Contents, Buildings only and Contents only. By entering the promo code HMWTDR648 you’ll get £30 cashback on your combined buildings and contents home insurance policy. All with an up to 30% no-claims discount.


How can I cut the price?

To get lower premiums, you should make sure that you take the following action:

Have locks recommended by police and security experts.

The more lock-friendly your house is, the more secure it is and the lower the premium you’ll pay. All locks should conform to the British security standard BS3621 (that means they can only be opened by a key).

Have burglar alarms where necessary.

These reduce the risk of a break-in and therefore help keep your premiums low.

Fit anti-crime devices.

Do all you can to make things difficult for burglars. If you live on the ground floor, grow hedges and prickly shrubbery outside the windows. Fences, gates and doors should be properly maintained. Bars on windows are also essential for most basement and ground floor flats, particularly in cities.

Try to pay for the insurance once a year rather than in monthly installments.

Some insurers charge interest on installment payments, which makes the whole process more expensive. Others don’t though, so it’s worth checking your policy. If you’re going to be charged interest, try to either pay up front for the whole year, or buy your home insurance on a 0% purchases credit card and pay it off gradually without paying any interest.

Insure valuables individually.

Most home contents insurance policies have a section that you can fill in which insures individual items separately. They can even be insured when they’re out of the house. So, for example, if you have some bits of expensive jewellery that you wear regularly, or even prescription glasses, you should insure them individually so that if you lose them in the street you can get the money back.

Shop around – of course!

There are loads of different policies around, and just going with the one your bank or mortgage lender is offering could be a waste of money. Use our very own home insurance comparison service to locate the very best deal. You’ll need to fill in your details and study the different policies that are suggested. If all other things are equal, go for the cheapest.


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8 years ago

Install a good quality Security Alarm System and or a CCTV Camera in your home, Good quality but not that expensive.

12 years ago

Ensure that you put a good locking device on your Kerosene (Oil) tank, and if possible install a good quality cctv camera to monitor area around it.

Nic Price
Nic Price
12 years ago

A useful list, thanks.

I’d add…

Be careful when putting the recycling out, especially the cardboard packaging advertising all your latest new gizmos.

Jasmine Birtles

Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.

Jasmine Birtles

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