A burglary is traumatic enough, without going on to find that your insurance claim has been turned down. There are a number of common reasons why this might happen. Read on as we explain how you can avoid an invalid claim, and escape falling victim to burglary in the first place.

Burglary insurance claimThe following all have potential to cause issues with claiming on your home contents insurance policy following a burglary, and some can also make you more of a target for burglars too.

1.     Installing the wrong locks, or failing to use your locks

Insurance providers generally make it a requirement of cover that main entry doors are fitted with five-lever mortice deadlocks that conform to British Standard BS3621. They will also usually demand that all ground floor or basement level windows are fitted with key operated locks which should be in use when the property is vacated, or during the night.

What’s more, the locks will need to be installed by an approved professional, such as a Qualified Master Locksmith.

Sneak-in burglaries are common in situations where doors or windows are not locked. There is little point in investing in good quality, insurance-compliant locks if you don’t use them. Bear in mind that insurers will generally only pay out on a claim where there is evidence of forced entry.

2.     Failing to advise about building works

Security can be adversely affected during any type of construction work. So, if you are having refurbishment work carried out, an extension built or a garage converted for example, be sure to let your home insurance provider know. If you don’t and you suffer a break in, you could find yourself uninsured.

Our post on security during home refurbishment provides plenty of tips on keeping your property secure whilst it’s being worked on.

A very important consideration is the possibility of duplicate keys falling into the wrong hands. If you’ve issued your builder with a key, be sure to have your locks changed once the works have been completed.

Any changes to the property that are security or value related will also need to be communicated to the insurer.

3.     Sharing too much online

It may come as a surprise, but social media posts can actually invalidate an insurance claim.

Give too much information away, such as sharing your holiday plans on social media, and your insurer may not honour a claim, because you have in effect advertised your property as being empty.

Burglars regularly consult online posts to check out who’s bought what and who’s away. So be sure to keep things to yourself.

Also bear in mind that you may need to inform your insurance company if you plan to be away for a prolonged period. Some policies will only allow for you to be away for a certain amount of time, for example 28 days, before the policy becomes void.

4.     Making changes to your main entry doors

Making changes to a front door could be considered by an insurer as changing your levels of security. Such changes could be as minor as adding a cat flap, but unless you let your insurer know, you could find yourself without cover should a break-in occur.

If you change your locks for a type other than that which has been approved or specifically requested by your insurer, then you’ll need to let them know about that too.

5.     Failing to retain receipts or obtain valuations

If you own valuable items, such as jewellery, watches, clocks, antiques, collectables, sports equipment, art and sculptures or tech, as long as you have the right type and level of insurance, you should feel reassured that your policy will cover you should anything be lost, stolen or damaged.

It is essential to bear in mind, however, that when processing claims for valuable items, insurers will usually request proof of ownership or, where relevant, an up to date valuation. The exact nature of the proof required will vary from insurer to insurer, but you can expect to be asked for some form of evidence that the item was in your possession up to the date of loss. If you can’t, then it is likely that your claim will be turned down.

You may find it helpful to register certain items of particular value, such as works of art, and you can do this via one of a number of official websites.

Insurance compliant security: for your ultimate peace of mind

Looking to upgrade your home security and want to be sure that you are fully insurance compliant? Barry Bros Security is Master Locksmith Association (MLA) and Guild of Architectural Ironmongers (GAI) accredited. All our products and installations meet the required standards for insurance and standards compliance.

If you want to ensure your home security complies with the conditions of insurance cover, why not get in touch or drop in to our London showroom for expert advice? We’re only too happy to help and our specialist locksmiths are on hand to provide the assistance you need.