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Burglary hotspots – how to beat the thieves

We look at whether living in a high-risk area means paying more for home insurance, and give some top tips to preventing your home from being burgled.

Unsurprisingly, London featured heavily in the top 20, with areas such as Wood Green, Mill Hill and Streatham all recording high numbers of claims.

The top 10 burglary hotspots based on number of claims made

  1. N16 – Stoke Newington, London, 33.6 claims per 1,000 inquiries
  2. BD10 – Apperley Bridge, Bradford, 31.7
  3. B71 – West Bromwich, West Midlands, 31.7
  4. N22 – Wood Green, London, 30.3
  5. LS13 – Bramley, Rodley, Swinnow, Leeds, 30
  6. LS15 – Austhorpe, Barwick-in-Elmet, Colton, Cross Gates, Halton, Halton Moor, Scholes, Whitkirk, Leeds, 28.
  7. BD18 – Saltaire, Shipley, Windhill, Wrose, Bradford, 28.6
  8. LS7 – Chapel Allerton, Chapeltown, Little London, Meanwood, Potternewton, Sheepscar, Leeds, 27.4
  9. DN2 – Intake, Wheatley, Wheatley Hills, Doncaster, 27.3
  10. SW16 – Streatham, London, 27.2

Does living in a high-risk area mean paying more for home insurance?

Home insurance providers take into account a number of factors – including postcode and its history of crime – when pricing your home insurance policy. Yet most insurers take a blanket approach, which means properties classified as being in a ‘high-risk’ area can attract more expensive cover, even if they’ve never experienced a break-in.

In the meantime, the best thing you can do is to improve your home’s security. Not only will this reduce the risk of your property being broken into, but it could help you gain cheaper home insurance in the long run.

According to Directgov, homes with no adequate security measures in place are ten times more likely to be burgled. Follow our list of safety measures you can take to reduce the likelihood of falling victim to crime.

Top tips to avoid being burgled:

  • Don’t keep valuables – such as laptops or jewellery – on view, and always close your curtains and blinds after dark. You might also want to keep an inventory of your valuables, either on paper or online with a property registering company like Immobilise.com.
  • Outside lights can make it more difficult for burglars to stay undetected – make sure they’re tamper-proof or positioned where it’s difficult for intruders to reach them. On the inside, leave lights switched on or use timer switches to make it look like you’re in when you’re not.
  • Make sure your doors and windows are locked when you’re not using them. Most burglars break into houses or flats through the door, either by forcing the lock or kicking it in, so make sure your doors are strong and secure.
  • Don’t hide your keys under a doormat or a flowerpot – it’s the first place a burglar will look.
  • Think carefully before announcing upcoming holidays on Facebook or Twitter. Putting information about your absence from home into the public domain could be making life easier for opportunist thieves.

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