Tops Tips to Prevent Common Claims
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We all know it’s a sensible precaution to insure our homes and precious possessions to ensure they are protected in the event of the unforeseen. Naturally, we hope that we never need to call on our insurance policy, but can rest assured that it is there to help us out if we need it. However, in most walks of life, we are told that prevention is always better than cure – and insuring your home shouldn’t be any different.
Here, we share some top tips for reducing your risk of needing to make a claim in the first place.
Deter Thieves – many would-be thieves are opportunists looking for an easy target. Making your home appear to be a difficult option would likely deter most burglars before they even attempt it. Perimeter fencing, CCTV, signage that the property is alarmed or protected by Smartwater is often enough to stop them in their tracks.
Be Alarmed! – an alarm system is a reliable way to deter would-be thieves. There are a number of types available, from simple audible only alarms to remote dual path signalling to prevent tampering. Consult a certified alarm installation company and check with your insurer to ensure you have the most appropriate level of protection for your home and contents.
Physical Security – there are certain minimum standards of door and window security your insurer will expect you to have. All doors with outside access should have appropriate locks to prevent forced entry, and all accessible windows (defined as windows which can be easily accessed without the use of a ladder) should have locks with removable keys. Remember to remove the keys when the windows are locked and store them safely!
Forensic Coding – this is a fantastic tool that can be used to invisibly mark your valuable and sentimental items, which means they can be identified and traced back to you should they be recovered following a theft. Here at Lumley, we believe this is such an effective measure, we provide a complimentary pack to all our clients! To find out more about our DNA+, click here.
Be Discrete – it may go without saying, but keep valuable items out of sight where you can. Store jewellery and watches you don’t wear regularly in a safe or strong room, and don’t leave them near windows where they can be seen by passers-by. If you can avoid it, try not to get into a predictable routine – don’t leave your house to go shopping at the same time each day for example – as criminals could be watching and waiting for a time when they know you won’t be home.
Be Anonymous – with the ever-growing popularity of social media, information about our lives and comings-and-goings are more readily available than ever. Be careful not to advertise yourself to would-be criminals by keeping your accounts private, don’t post photos that reveal your address or location, and whilst we all love to do it, don’t post your holiday photos until you get back, as these can tip off criminals that you aren’t at home. Even if you don’t use social media yourself, posts from other members of your household can be just as damaging, so make sure they are aware of the risks.
Manage your fire risk – check your smoke detectors or fire alarms regularly and consider installing fire extinguishers on each floor of your home. If you have log burners or open fires, ensure ash is emptied away to avoid build up, and have your chimneys swept at least once a year. Your insurance policy may require you to undertake these steps to keep the risk of fire damage to your home as low as possible. If your home is particularly large or remote, you may want to consider arranging a visit from your local fire service and developing a plan of action in the event of a fire, which will confirm access points for vehicles and identify nearby water sources to ensure they can take action as quickly as possible.
Leak Detection – these clever little inventions monitor water flow through your pipes to detect irregularities and notify you of a problem before it escalates, potentially saving you the nightmare of significant repairs and a very large claim. Insurers believe these are so beneficial, some are now providing them to their clients as part of their policies.
Whilst we can never expect the unexpected, by taking simple and reasonable precautions like these, you can reduce the likelihood of having to make a claim, and improve your standing with insurers when reviewing your policy.
For more independent advice and guidance on your home insurance, call a member of our team today on 01285 885885, contact us using the form below, or click here to complete an enquiry form.