Aussies take a relaxed approach to their home security ahead of the holiday season

17 Dec 2018

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 this holiday season.

The national survey found that one in 10 Australians (11%) openly admit to leaving their windows and doors unlocked when they go away. A further one in three households (29%) are without contents insurance, with over a quarter (27%) believing they’re at low risk of needing it.

These finding come as Allianz data shows a 25% increase in the average cost of home claims in the five years to the end of 2017 - due to everything from natural disasters to robberies.

Allianz Australia Chief Technical Officer, Donna Walker, said: “As a nation, our homes are our pride and joy, yet our optimistic nature means we don’t like to think anything could happen while we’re away for the holidays”.

“Unfortunately, Australians aren’t immune to the risks that come with owning or renting property.”

“Skipping on security precautions such as setting alarms or locking-up, as well as not being mindful of potential damage while you’re away, can be a recipe for disaster, and certainly not the welcome home we expect when returning from the Christmas break.”

The research also revealed that when embarking on a holiday or weekend away, nearly half of respondents (48%) leave their blinds and curtains wide open to prying eyes; two-thirds (66%) fail to hide away their valuables; and, when it comes to setting a precautionary security alarm, only around one in five (23%) reported doing so.

The area in which we live was found to influence the home security measures we take, with the survey revealing:

“Whether or not you’re planning to go away this holiday season, it’s a timely reminder to all Australians to take note of their valuables and review their security measures, like window locks and alarm systems,” said Walker.

“It’s also important to take steps to avoid damage to your property while you’re away. Things like unplugging electrical appliances can not only help reduce your energy bill but can protect your electrical appliances from power surges in the event of a storm.

“Make sure to turn off the water to washing machines and dishwashers to avoid water damage in the all-too-common event of a hose bursting while you are away.

“Finally, a quick check of your policy cover, especially ahead of an extended trip, is an important step. You can relax and enjoy your time away after clarifying whether or not your most prized possessions - be those jewelry, a television or your laptop - are protected.”

Allianz recommends Australians regularly review their contents insurance. Some handy tips include:

  1. Secure your house: lock windows and doors, close blinds, set an alarm (if you have one), and ask a trusted neighbour to take in your mail and check on your house while you are away.
  2. Create a contents inventory that lists important items in your house.
  3. 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.
  4. Save your inventory and videos/photos online, or keep a hard copy in a fireproof safe.
  5. Use an online contents insurance calculator to help you work out the value of your home contents.
  6. Review your insurance policies annually or after major purchases and the Christmas gift giving season, including adding new and portable items such as mobile phones, jewellery and bicycles.

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