Home Alone - Secure Your Sheds During Summer Holidays

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Packing the suitcase, shopping for sun screen and organising the cattery - it’s easy to forget that your home also needs a bit of attention before you head off on your holidays.

Thefts from outside the home start to increase as the evenings get lighter in March and steadily rise until their peak in July and August when they are almost 60% higher than the dark days of January.

Packing the suitcase, shopping for sun screen and organising the cattery - it’s easy to forget that your home also needs a bit of attention before you head off on your holidays.

And analysis of ten-years of data* from Aviva, the UK’s largest insurer, shows that it’s your sheds and gardens that need particular attention.

Thefts from outside the home start to increase as the evenings get lighter in March and steadily rise until their peak in July and August when they are almost 60% higher than the dark days of January.

Jonathan Cracknell, household underwriter at Aviva says: “Most homeowners are pretty savvy when it comes to securing their main home while they are away, but it’s easy to forget that garden tools, expensive children’s toys, bikes and lawnmowers all make rich pickings for opportunist thieves too, so make sure they are also locked away and out of sight before you head to the airport.

“Of course the key with any security while you are on holiday is to not to advertise that your home is empty, so don’t leave wheelie bins out, leave a car in the drive if you can and have some lights on timers to come on in the evenings and early mornings.

“We also see a rise in household leaks in the summer months, more frequent use of showers, baths and air conditioning units all put pressure on potential problem pipes, so having a neighbour check on your home every now and then will help it stay secure and dry!”

What about cover?
Aviva's home insurance provides full cover for up to 60 consecutive days whilst your home is left unoccupied. This ensures your home is protected against any unexpected incidents whilst you are on your holidays such as a burglary, but also burst pipes, which could obviously cause serious damage to your home if you are not there to stop it!

But if you are lucky enough to be going away for an extended summer break of more than 60 days just let us know. Most insurance policies will automatically exclude theft, malicious damage and household leaks after a certain time period.

Garden cover
If the worst does happen Aviva home insurance provides 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 particularly nice garden ornaments or a fancy table and chairs that cover can be increased to £1500 for around £8 a year.

Security while you home is alone:
·    Leave a key with a responsible relative/friend to regularly check your home
·    Secure and tidy away loose garden items in a shed or garage such as children's toys, cycles, garden equipment etc; (so they can't be stolen, used to break windows or to cause damage)
·    Make sure the locks on your shed or garage are robust and not rusty!
·    Hide or cover bulky items which can not be locked away, such as large gas barbecues and picnic benches.
·    Get a friend or neighbour to draw curtains in the evenings, clear mail from your letter box, and remove rubbish bins when collection is over.
·    Use timer switches for lighting of the property in the evenings.
·    Leave a car in the driveway if you can

*Aviva claims data 2000 to 2009

Fore more information contact Rebecca Homes in the Aviva General Insurance press office on 01603 685177/07800 690731

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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Rebecca Homes
Aviva
01603 685177
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