New research from Allianz Australia reveals the classic Australian ‘she’ll be right’ attitude could be costing people dearly when it comes to protecting their home and personal belongings.
The national survey found that over 10% of Australians openly admit to leaving their windows and doors unlocked when they go away. Almost one in three households don’t have any contents insurance.
Despite this relaxed approach to home security, claims are getting larger, with Allianz data showing a 25% increase in the average cost of home contents claims in the five years to the end of 2017.
The research also revealed that when embarking on a holiday or weekend away:
- Nearly half of respondents leave their blinds and curtains wide open to prying eyes;
- Two-thirds fail to hide away their valuables; and
- Only one in five set a security alarm.
With a few straightforward steps from police experience around the country, you can help protect your home and belongings from thieves.
Tips to secure your home against theft
Police suggest many opportunistic thieves take advantage of unlocked homes. Even if you are going out for a short time, lock up your house and windows.
Don't provide cover
Deter thieves from targeting your house by ensuring a clear line of sight from the street. Cut back trees and bushes that obscure your front door, look into installing movement sensor lights and report broken street lights straight away.
Upgrade your defences
A solid core door with a deadlock, for example, is harder to force, grilles and shutters prevent burglars from breaking in through windows, and a lockable security screen can help keep burglars out.
Monitor all potential targets
Garages and garden sheds are often targets for burglars who can then use your tools or ladders to gain access to the house (police even report wheelie bins used to smash windows). A sensor light can be a useful deterrent, along with keyed locks.
Security doesn't take a holiday
Ask friends to collect your mail and to stop junk mail from building up in your letterbox while you're away from home. A neighbour parking in your driveway can also help give the impression the house is still occupied.
Guard your keys
Most people know not to hide keys somewhere about the house but are you also aware that lending your keys to tradespeople and acquaintances can pose a risk? Keys are easily copied and can provide burglars with fast access to your belongings.
Store valuables in a safe
According to the ABS Crime Victimisation Survey 2016-171, computer equipment and personal items such as jewellery, handbags, clothing and money are amongst the most common property stolen in break-ins. Installing a small safe in your home is a relatively low cost way to protect those items.
Don't advertise valuables
Break up packaging for expensive new gear before tucking it into the bin or recycling. With most thieves looking for cash, even a wallet or iPod left on your hall table can make your home a target. Speaking of valuables, police advise making an inventory of your belongings with photos to have at hand in case of a break-in.
Install an alarm or deter thieves with a dog
Add another layer of defence to your home with an alarm system. A barking dog can also provide effective security for your home.
Make friends with your neighbours
In tightknit communities, people look out for each other. Neighbours can report suspicious activity at your home and help when you're away - and you can return the favour.
Allianz recommends Australians regularly review their contents insurance. Some handy tips include:
- Create a contents inventory that lists important items in your house.
- Take photos (or a video) of every room in the house using your camera or a mobile phone. Don’t forget to include outdoor areas.
- Save your inventory and videos/photos online, or keep a hard copy in a fireproof safe.
- Use an home contents insurance calculator to help you work out the value of your home contents.
Review your insurance policies annually or after major purchases, including adding new portable content items such as mobile phones and making sure you have adequate cover for jewellery and bicycles.
About the research
Allianz commissioned Pure Profile to conduct a consumer survey in June 2018. The survey was a nationally representative sample of over 1,000 Australian adult respondents (18+ years). The survey was carried out online.
The home contents under insurance survey was conducted by Galaxy YouGov in February 2018 on behalf of Allianz Australia. More than 1,000 Australians were surveyed (18+ years).
- Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) 2016-17 National Crime Victimisation Survey
Read more from our December Holiday 2018 customer email:
Home insurance is issued by Allianz Australia Insurance Limited ABN 15 000 122 850, AFS Licence no. 234708 (Allianz). We do not provide any advice based on any consideration of your objectives, financial situation or needs. Policy terms, conditions, limits, exclusions and underwriting criteria apply. Before making a decision, please consider the Allianz Product Disclosure Statement available by calling 13 1000 or online by visiting allianz.com.au.
Information provided in this article is designed to be a guide only and was believed to be correct at time of publication. Please consider your own personal circumstances when reading the information contained within the article.