Lighter Nights, Lighter Fingers -- Thefts from Gardens Increase when the Clocks go Forward

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After the coldest winter in decades many of us are looking forward to March 28th when the clocks go forward and the evenings finally get lighter. However, it seems that opportunistic thieves also eagerly anticipate this time of year too.

Aviva data shows that thefts from gardens, sheds and garages, shoot up by over a quarter (26%) as British Summer Time begins.

After the coldest winter in decades many of us are looking forward to March 28th when the clocks go forward and the evenings finally get lighter. However, it seems that opportunistic thieves also eagerly anticipate this time of year too.

Aviva data shows that thefts from gardens, sheds and garages, shoot up by over a quarter (26%) as British Summer Time begins.

Bikes, lawnmowers, garden tools and children’s toys are all targeted with the average theft claim totalling around £850.

Analysis of ten years of claims data, shows thefts from outside the home start to increase as evenings get lighter at the beginning of March with a 13% increase compared to the dark nights of January.

Claims then steadily increase as the days get longer and lighter until they reach their peak in July and August when they are almost 60% higher than at the beginning of the year.

Jonathan Cracknell, household underwriter at Aviva says “Our data shows that the official start to British Summer Time coincides with a sharp increase in belongings being stolen from gardens, sheds and garages. Obviously homeowners are making the most of those extra hours of sunlight but they should also be mindful that garden tools, bikes and expensive children’s toys, left lying around, are also very tempting for opportunistic thieves.

“So we would urge all homeowners to pack up their things after a day in the garden and make sure their sheds, summer houses and garages are properly secured. If you tot up all those things you keep outside your actual home, like golf clubs, lawnmowers and kid’s trampolines, I think most people would be quite surprised by how much all those belongings are worth.”

Cover
Aviva household policies provide cover for theft of contents in outbuildings, garages and garden sheds up to £2500, so that would include your mountain bike, lawnmower and set of golf clubs.

Contents in the garden, like patio furniture, potted plants and BBQs, are also covered for theft and damage, up to £500, but if you have some particularly nice garden ornaments or a fancy table and chairs that cover can be increased to £1500 for around £8 a year.

But remember bikes are not covered if you leave them lying in your garden, so make sure you and the kids pick up and put away any bikes every evening.

If you do want cover for your bikes outside the home and anywhere in the world you might want to take out extra cycle cover which costs from around £8 a year for the whole family’s bikes. (Cover limits from £300 to £2,500)
Similarly if you would like your golf clubs or fishing tackle to be covered outside the home you could consider taking out additional personal belongings cover, which again covers you anywhere in the world. It costs from around £15 a year for £2000 worth of cover.

Aviva’s Top Tips to beat the Opportunists

  • Don’t tempt the thieves in, put away your garden tools, paddling pool, trampoline and swing ball at the end of the day.
  • Lock your sheds and out buildings, replace any rusty padlocks.
  • Close gates and repair damaged fences - deterrents are sometimes the best prevention.
  • Hide or cover bulky items which can't be locked away, such as large gas barbecues and picnic benches.
  • And for those of you who treat your shed as a second home, check your policy details to ensure your mini television, playstation and beer fridge would don’t go over your policy limits.

For further information, please contact: zara(dot)e(dot)timms(at)aviva(dot)co(dot)uk

Aviva, the international savings, investments and insurance group, is the world’s fifth largest insurance group, serving 50 million customers across Europe, North America and Asia Pacific.

In the UK, Aviva is a leading provider of life, pensions, investment, general insurance and health products to more than 20 million customers. Aviva also provides roadside assistance through RAC. Products are distributed through a number of channels including IFAs, brokers, corporate partners and direct to customers via the internet at http://www.aviva.co.uk.

Aviva's UK Insurance business has a market share of around 15%, making it the largest general insurer in the UK. The business is focused on insurance for individuals and small businesses.

Aviva's life and pensions business in the UK has a total market share of 12% and a top three position in its key markets of savings, protection, and annuities.

Aviva’s news releases and a selection of images are available from the internet press centre at http://www.aviva.co.uk/media-centre

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Zara Timms
Aviva
01603 622200
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