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It’s the most plunder-full time of the year – average burglary claim rises to nearly £2,300 over the festive season

Protect your presents from festive thieves and make sure your contents are covered this Christmas says the Association of British Insurers (ABI)

It’s an expensive time of year for many families - and don’t thieves know it. On average we spend 29%[1] more in December than during any other month, with families expecting to spend £388[2] on gifts alone this year.  

Your pricey haul could fast become easy pickings, so it’s important to stay safe and stay covered. According to data collected from ABI members, insurers dealt with the equivalent of 198 domestic burglary claims every day over the festive season, and the average claim rose to £2,280 - an increase of 9.6% from the July-September period.[3]

As gifts stack up under the tree, so will the total value of your contents, which is why it’s crucial to check your insurance to ensure any expensive items, such as jewellery, are covered. It’s worth reviewing this after Christmas too in case you received expensive presents.

For peace of mind, many insurers will automatically increase your cover over the holiday season, but you should always check your policy terms and conditions. If you are still unsure what you are covered for, speak to your insurer.

The ABI’s advice for warding off the Christmas criminals this year includes:

- Wherever possible avoid leaving presents in an unattended vehicle. If you have to, then make sure that they are out of sight in a locked boot.

-When putting presents under the Christmas tree, make sure that they are not easily visible from the outside, or store away elsewhere. 

-Think twice about what you post on social media. Avoid details of expensive presents like jewellery, and do not advertise if you are going away over the festive period, so leaving your home unoccupied. 

-If you are going away over the period, make sure your home is left secure. If possible, ask a trusted neighbour or friend to keep an eye out for anything suspicious. 

-Even if only popping round to the neighbours for a festive tipple, always lock your front door. 

-Secure any outbuildings or sheds, especially as they may store implements that can be used to break into your home.  

-When out Christmas shopping, be aware of pickpockets.

Sarah Brodie, ABI Senior Policy Adviser, General Insurance said: “Thieves love Christmas. With many households spending hundreds of pounds on presents, this can be a very profitable time for criminals. Make sure you have adequate contents insurance to replace stolen gifts should the worst happen, although this can never compensate for the distress that thieves cause. Being extra security conscious this month, can help ensure that you remember Christmas for all the right reasons.”     



Notes for Editors

[1] Bank of England Christmas spending data, https://www.bankofengland.co.uk/knowledgebank/how-much-do-we-spend-at-christmas

[2]YouGov Survey, https://yougov.co.uk/topics/consumer/articles-reports/2021/12/09/how-much-are-people-spending-christmas-2021

[3] ABI 2020Q4 Property Claims data, https://www.abi.org.uk/data-and-resources/industry-data/industry-data-and-subscriptions/”.


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  1. The Association of British Insurers is the voice of the UK’s world leading insurance and long-term savings industry. A productive, inclusive and thriving sector, we are an industry that provides peace of mind to households and businesses across the UK and powers the growth of local and regional economies by enabling trade, risk taking, investment and innovation.


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Last updated 17/12/2021