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January – the busiest month for burglars

Just as retailers are recovering from their biggest month of the year, other industries are preparing for their busy season. Its not just campgrounds that enjoy their peak in January, if you’re in the business of burgling, you’ll also be preparing yourself for your busiest month of the year.

According to The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) data, January was the busiest time of the year in 2017 and 2018 for contents claims. On average, 76 customers will have their homes burgled each day in January, costing insurers around $6.1 million over the month.

“These spikes in claims data show that this is a busy time of year for crooks looking to benefit from people’s Christmas shopping and their summer holidays,” ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton said. “Insurance can help with damaged homes and vehicles and lost contents, but it can’t take away the stress all those things can cause.”

If you are looking forward to a relaxing holiday, taking some simple steps to secure your home and contents, can increase the chance of a happy holiday, and keep you safe from burglars.

Here are some tips to protect your property:

  • Let your insurer know if you have purchased or received any high value items for Christmas. Items such as jewellery, bikes, and even watersport equipment can have limits, and any item over the limit should be specified with your insurer.
  • Make sure your insurance policies are up-to-date and not due to run out whilst your on holiday.
  • Have a photographic record of your treasured and/or valuable possessions. Take photos of the item, including the model and serial number. Photos of you wearing your jewellery are also helpful if you need to make a claim. Take a look at SNAP where you can record your assets (provided by the NZ Police).
  • Mark items with your name to prove ownership. If these marks are hard to remove (such as engraving) they may also deter thieves.
  • Let your insurance company know if you are going to be away from your house for a long period (generally more than 60 days), or if you are planning to list your home with Airbnb or Bookabach while your away. Not all insurers will provide you with the correct cover in either of these situations.
  • Make the burglars work a bit harder – don’t leave your front door key under the welcome mat, and hide the keys to the SUV parked in the garage. Car’s parked in internal access garages make loading their haul easy, and keys in the ignition, make the getaway fast.
  • Talk to your neighbours – let them know you’re going away, and ask them to keep an eye on the place, and clear the letterbox.
  • Whilst you’re on holiday, lock the doors when you popping down to the shops or taking a walk on the beach.

If you have suffered a burglary claim and are wanting advice on your claim, please refer to our helpful claim guide.