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All I want for Christmas are your presents

The festive season has become the theftive season as thieves increasingly target easy pickings over the Christmas and New Year holiday break warns the ABI.

Last Christmas insurers dealt with just over 10,000 burglary claims over the Christmas period (1.) paying out £15 million. Many of these resulted from thieves targeting homes unoccupied while the owners were away on holiday or visiting friends or family.
With the average family estimated to spend around £375 (2.) on presents for their immediate family this year, the ABI's advice to ensure that thieves do not ruin your Christmas is:

- Do not draw attention to expensive presents you receive by leaving the packaging visible for the rubbish collection - crush it and bag it up.
- Even if quickly visiting a neighbour to delivery presents always lock your door and shut any windows as it can only take a few minutes for thieves to strike.
- Do not leave Christmas presents in full view in unattended vehicles. If you have to leave them, make sure they are in a locked boot.
- If going away over Christmas make sure your home is secure. Use light timers to give the impression that your home is occupied. Ask a trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye on your home.
- In crowded shops during the New Year sales always keep your wallet or purse secure as pickpockets love crowds.

Check your home contents insurance as many will automatically temporarily increase your sum insured to take into account the increased value of presents over Christmas. Immediately after Christmas check the value of presents, such as electronic gadgets, to see if you may need to increase the value of your contents cover.

Nick Starling, ABI's Director of General Insurance, said:

"There is no festive goodwill from thieves, who will not think twice about ruining someone's Christmas. Now, more than at any time of the year, burglars are looking for soft targets, so don t make it easy for them - taking a few common sense precautions will ensure you are not still paying for Christmas long into the New Year."

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Notes for Editors

1. Enquiries to:
Liz Forster 020 7216 7444 Mobile: 07717 578 586
Malcolm Tarling 020 7216 7410 Mobile: 07776 147 667
Linsey White 020 7216 7415 Mobile: 07885 998011
Sarah Bailey 020 7216 7514 Mobile: 07725 372636
Adeola Ajayi 020 7216 7521 Mobile: 07725 245284

2. The ABI is the voice of the UK's insurance, investment and long-term savings industry. It has over 300 members, which together account for around 90% of premiums in the UK domestic market.
The ABI's role is to:
- Be the voice of the UK insurance industry, leading debate and speaking up for insurers.
- Represent the UK insurance industry to government, regulators and policy makers in the UK, EU and internationally, driving effective public policy and regulation.
- Advocate high standards of customer service within the industry and provide useful information to the public about insurance.
- Promote the benefits of insurance to the government, regulators, policy makers and the public.

The UK insurance industry is the third largest in the world and the largest in Europe. It is a vital part of the UK economy, managing investments amounting to 26% of the UK's net worth and contributing the fourth highest corporation tax of any sector. Employing over 290,000 people in the UK alone, the insurance industry is also one of this country's major exporters, with 28% of its net premium income coming from overseas business.
Insurance and businesses protect themselves against the everyday risks they face, enabling people to own their own homes, travel overseas, provide for a financially secure future and run businesses. Insurance underpins a healthy and prosperous society, enabling businesses and individuals to thrive, safe in the knowledge that problems can be handled and risks carefully managed. Every day, our members pay out £147 million in benefits to pensioners and long-term savers as well as £60 million in general insurance claims.

3. An ISDN line is available for broadcasts.

4. More news and information from the ABI is available on our web site, www.abi.org.uk.

Last updated 01/07/2016