Winter burglary and theft claims: Why robbers love soup season

Last updated on June 15, 2023
How to help keep your home and belongings safe from burglary and theft this winter. 
An illustration of a burglar’s hand reaching out of a soup bowl that’s next to car keys and a wallet
As temperatures start to drop, soup season begins. But falling temperatures can also mean rising cases of theft and burglary, according to Allianz Home Insurance claims data from 1 January 2020 to 31 December 2022. Here’s what to look out for and steps you can take to help safeguard your home and belongings this winter.
During 2020-2021, there were 179,400 attempted break-ins and 171,600 people experienced actual break-ins, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). In the winter months, burglars are more likely to take advantage of the following:
More hours of darkness for thieves. As burglars don’t like to be seen, the longer, darker evenings provide them with more cover to sneak around.
People might decide to take a short holiday and escape some of the cold weather, which leaves empty homes for burglars to choose from. This means burglars have more time to break in and search for valuables.
Feeling cosy at home may lull you into a false sense of security. Most break-ins happen because of unlocked doors or windows. Many burglars are opportunists who are happy to slip in and out of your home in a few seconds, with your car keys. Meanwhile, you may be relaxing on your sofa, listening to a true crime podcast or enjoying a heist movie.
A deserted suburban street at night
There are a few things you can do to help keep your property safe this winter.

Always lock doors and windows when your leave the house and before you go to sleep at night. According to Neighbourhood Watch, burglars are fond of unlocked side and rear doors and windows. Locking screen doors and closing shutters can help make life difficult for thieves and deter those looking for easy access.

Also, consider locking any gardening or DIY tools in a shed or garage to prevent someone using them to gain access to your home.

Don’t leave a key under the mat, under a flowerpot, or anywhere that’s accessible. Always leave keys with a trusted friend, neighbour or family member.

When you’re going away for a couple of weeks on holiday, be careful who you tell about your trip, including what you share on social media. If you have family or friends nearby, or good neighbours, ask them to check on your home while you’re away. It’s also a good idea to ask someone you trust to collect your mail. You can always bring them a thank you gift from your holiday.

Be mindful about what’s on view just in case someone’s watching your home. You should keep anything of value, including the good china, out of public view. According to the ABS, during 2019–2020 the most commonly stolen types of property were: personal items such as jewellery and clothing (20%), bicycles or sporting equipment (18%), money, purses or wallets (16%) and tools (15%).
Most commonly stolen types of property are personal items such as jewellery and clothing 20%, bicycles or sporting equipment 18%, money purses or wallets 16%, tools 15%.

If you’re a tradie, having your tools stolen could affect your cash flow. It could also leave you out of pocket. You might want to consider if our Business Insurance Pack is right for you. You can choose from 12 covers, including General Property Insurance. It covers your portable tools and the equipment you use to run your business, so you can get replacements – and back to work – as soon as possible. We also offer Theft Insurance for your contents and stock at a specific premises.

You might also want to rethink storing keys in a key box. Labelled keys could be very useful for a burglar. And if they have your car keys, they may even make off with your valuables in your own car.

Opening a door deadlock with keys
According to the police, investing in additional security measures for your home is worthwhile. There are plenty of options to suit all budgets, such as lights that are activated by sensors, security screen doors, additional deadlocks, alarms and even CCTV. If you have expensive jewellery or watches, a safe might be a good investment too.
A happy family relaxing on the sofa with their dog

If you’ve upgraded your laptop recently, you may need to upgrade your insurance coverage too. It’s a good idea to review your Home Insurance regularly to make sure all your items are covered. Keeping photos of your valuable items could be useful if you do have to make an insurance claim.

Do you have any new portable items, such as mobile phones, jewellery and bicycles? If so, you might want to consider adding optional Portable Contents cover to your Allianz Home Insurance policy.

Since you took out your policy, you may have improved security measures around your home by installing alarms, additional locks and deadlocks, and lockable bolts on your windows. Improving the security of your home may help keep your home and family safer. You should inform your insurer of any changes you’ve made to your property, and it could also help lower the costs of your insurance premiums.

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Disclaimer

This article has been prepared by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850 AFSL234708 (“Allianz”). In some cases, information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way.

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