With the summer season in full swing, it is important that consumers not only ensure their main property has a comprehensive level of insurance but also that their holiday home is protected from criminals.
Such is the assertion of Zurich in a recent piece of research which reveals that as second homes are often left empty for months on end they can be an easy target for thieves. And with two-thirds of Britons with holiday houses claiming that they only visit such accommodation no more than once every three months, the firm stated many could be leaving their properties to greater risk than is necessary.
The company showed only 22 per cent of respondents have an alarm fitted on their home. Meanwhile, less than half of holiday homeowners have window locks for their second property, with six per cent of those questioned claiming to not have any kind of security measures installed. It was also shown that about one in ten people do not have home insurance for their property, with about the same proportion (11 per cent) indicated to be unsure what level of cover they have.
In not having a sufficient level of insurance or unwittingly invalidating cover by leaving a window open, consumers who find that their second home has been burgled might have to dip into their own pockets in order to meet the cost of replacing items and repairing their home. This could see their capacity in which to manage other constraints on their spending – for example loan repayments, credit cards and household bills – come under more strain.
Nick Brabham, head of Zurich Private Clients, said: “There has been a steady rise in the number of customers with second homes, either in the UK or abroad. While we’re using them, we often let our guard down as we relax and unwind, but we need to ensure that we don’t compromise on security or cover, leaving our property vulnerable and thousands of pounds of our possessions at risk.”
He added that while it is “common” for consumers to under-insure their second homes, it is important people make sure that their property is adequately protected as burglars across France, Portugal and Spain are reported to be increasingly opting to release gases through an air conditioning system in order to immoblise the inhabitants while they break into a house. As such, the firm advised people to install specialist alarms which will go off when certain elements of gas are detected.
It was also reported that wealthy consumers in particular are finding their second homes are increasingly becoming a target for thieves as they are more likely to contain expensive amounts of jewellery in their property. The firm stated that the typical person has items worth an average of 15,200 pounds in their holiday house.
For those looking for an effective way to fund replacing items stolen following a break-in, a homeowner loan might be recommended. In selecting this type of loan, borrowers might also find that they can effectively pay for repair work on any damage done to their properties. The additional financial assistance a home loan brings could also help people to take out a comprehensive insurance policy. A loan for this purpose may also be of assistance to those with homes on British shores after a recent study by Confused showed that – despite its contents often being worth thousands of pounds – many people take a lax attitude towards enhancing the security of sheds.