One in five report household security breaches during pandemic

ONE in five homeowners has experienced a security breach during the pandemic, new research shows.

Some of the incidents reported include break-ins, cars being stolen or damaged, suspicious activity by strangers and intimidation.

Many homeowners have sought to reinforce the security in their properties, with nearly half (48pc) installing window locks. Others have smart alarms and security cameras in place.

A quarter of homeowners have installed security bolts on external doors, while 22pc chose to have a dog in the house for protection.

The research was carried out by iReach Insights on behalf of Aviva Insurance.

The survey also highlighted how some homeowners (36pc) believe they may be underinsured, while others were unsure of what their insurance policy covered.

Some of the most popular individual items insured on policies include engagement rings and other jewellery (33pc), electronics such as computers and smartphones (23pc), bicycles (12pc), watches and clockwork items (8pc) and artworks or antique furniture (6pc).

Billy Shannon, chief underwriting officer with Aviva, said some people could be leaving themselves significantly financially exposed in the event of damage or loss.

“Most homeowners said they are confident they are fully insured for rebuilding and contents costs, but there were still 36pc who believe they could be underinsured. That’s a sizable portion,” he said.

“Both under- and overinsuring can be common mistakes by policy-holders. Homeowners should also satisfy themselves that the sum insured is adequate to reflect the rebuilding cost of their home, taking into account fees and site clearing costs.”

Mr Shannon recommended informing insurers of all the security features in place.

One in five of the 1,200 home-owners surveyed experienced some form of a security breach in the past 18 months.

“From structural protections such as window locks to more frivolous additions such as ‘Beware of the dog’ signs erected by residents who don’t even own a dog, it appears people are not complacent – with 80pc reporting they have taken one or more security measures,” Mr Shannon said.

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