While it’s crucial that you protect your home and your family from the trauma and financial burden of an unlawful intrusion, making your home more secure and your family more vigilant is also a sound means of reducing the cost of your home insurance premium. Whether you’re about to buy your first policy or renew an existing one, make sure that you don’t do it without first checking out the competition. For some of the cheapest policies in house contents insurance is a great place to start comparing policies from hundreds of insurers quickly and efficiently.
Before you do all that, however, read on for the best ways to ensure that the cost of your policy is as low as possible…
Lighting and CCTV
Perhaps the easiest and cheapest measure a homeowner can take, movement-sensor security lights are easy to fit and incredibly effective. A burglar is going to be put off scaling a fence or kicking a door open if they’re suddenly lit up. Similarly, investing in a good quality CCTV system is an effective measure, although these can often be expensive, so just do what you can realistically afford. A dummy CCTV camera or two, put out of reach of any potential vandals, can also help in the battle against burglary.
Doors and windows
Unfortunately, burglars most commonly enter houses through unlocked or open doors and windows. You should always diligently secure your doors and windows. This rule also counts when you’re in the house – it doesn’t take long for an opportunist thief to reach or climb in and steal your car keys, for example, and land themselves with thousands of pounds worth of booty in an instant. By fitting the best doors, windows and locks your money can buy, you will also manage to considerably reduce your insurance premium.
High fencing, shrubs or trees might make your garden feel more private and your home a bit safer in its seclusion, but police advice is that this form of cover often encourages a burglar to attempt to break in, simply because they know they won’t be seen by anyone outside. Foliage in a garden can either make a burglar think twice or encourage them to break in. Thorny, springy bushes located under windows will make them tough to reach, while on the other hand, a conveniently-placed tree may provide the perfect ladder to an open window. Finally, a crunchy gravelly driveway will most likely deter a burglar for fear of drawing too much attention to themselves.
A visible burglar alarm will often put a burglar off even trying to break in. Always remember, though, that the system must be regularly maintained and that you always remember to turn it on when you leave the house empty. Failure to do so will most likely render your policy invalid, simply because it’s been calculated to allow for this extra security measure. Just like the fake CCTV camera, fitting a dummy alarm is also a great alternative if you can’t afford the real thing, because burglars often won’t risk finding out whether it’s real or not.
A few other little pointers…
- Buy a few timer switches for your lights, and if you’re away for an extended period of time, ask a friend to house sit or a neighbour to come and draw curtains and park in your driveway to make the house look lived in;
- If you own any small, high value items, consider getting a safe;
- Always check a caller’s I.D., and supervise tradespeople at all times;
- Keep expensive items out of plain sight from the outside world;
- Don’t write your home address on your luggage labels – mark them with your telephone number and email address instead.
If you can afford to combine all of these tips, then do. The more measures you take to secure your house, the cheaper your premium will be – and most of all, be vigilant and aware – don’t invite a burglar into your home.