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The summer rise in theft related repairs

Property insurance is big business. According to ABI figures, the industry pays out in excess of £12m a day in property claims. Of those daily claims, in excess of £1.5m was paid out to repair damage to the home and replace home contents as a result of theft.

There are many reasons for insurance claims relating to property, but at this time of year theft claims can start to play a large part. From June through to August we always see a spike in repair work carried out as a direct result of burglaries.

One of the key reasons behind this is because it’s holiday season. Absent homeowners make property a prime target for would be thieves. Aside from the obvious loss of belongings and psychological distress, a major side effect of a burglary is damage caused by break-in.

This is where we come in. Here at Plastic Surgeon, our specialist repair skills are called into play to fix a wide variety of damage.

Doors and windows are the most common repair jobs thanks to their obvious choice as a means of entry. But it’s not just doors and windows that need repair; surfaces and floors are common peripheral areas damaged during the course of a burglary.

Bricks or other items thrown through windows land indiscriminately, causing damage to whichever surface they land on – be that kitchen worktop, wooden floor, tiling; whatever happens to be in the way. Broken glass can also cause damage as it falls, while impact damage from instruments used during entry is also an issue.

We’re able to repair a wide array of substrates and surface types. Damage to UPVC doors and windows can be rectified, as can brick, ceramic, glass, marble, metal – practically any surface repair is within our skillset. It’s thanks to this wide array of capabilities that insurers often turn to us to repair damage in homes.

Through repair, we’re able to save money on the costs of replacement, while also saving thousands of tonnes of waste from landfill. Repair is also more convenient for a homeowner – our fine finishers are able to fix damage much more easily and in a more timely manner than that of arranging a replacement item.

Take a kitchen surface as an example or a UPVC doorframe – repairing is a much less time consuming and intrusive process for those living in a property. Depending on the extent of the damage, we can be done in a relatively short time – perhaps completing the repair on the following day or even on the same day as a break-in. Waiting on a replacement item to arrive however, can potentially take weeks, dragging out the claims process and adding to the already considerable stress caused when falling victim to a burglar.

Of course, in an ideal world, our repair work wouldn’t be needed. It’s important that over the summer months, homeowners take precautionary steps to avoid becoming a target of would-be thieves. Here are a few key tips, in our experience, on what to do to avoid a break-in:

  1. Make sure doors and windows are secure. Leaving them open – even if you’re only in the back garden – makes you more vulnerable to opportunistic thieves.
  2. Think visibility. Keep valuables, including car keys, out of sight of windows or doors.
  3. Restrictors work well if you want a window open in warm weather, as they limit how far windows can be opened.
  4. Following hot weather, put garden items away in a locked shed or garage overnight rather than simply leaving them out.
  5. Holiday time is harvest time for burglars. If you’re friendly with your neighbours, why not ask them to park on your drive while you’re away? Potential burglars often scout properties ahead of a break-in so a car on the drive can often put them off.
  6. Timers on automated light switches and curtains are a great way to give the impression that you’re in, even if you’re out – particularly so when on holiday.

Chris Edwards is Head of Insurance Services at Plastic Surgeon. For more information on our insurance focused offering please email cedwards@plastic-surgeon.co.uk or call 07970 102413 to speak with him directly. head-insurance-services

 

“Absent homeowners make property a prime target for would be thieves. Aside from the obvious loss of belongings and psychological distress, a major side effect of a burglary is damage caused by break-in”

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