Lock up the garden shed

Thefts from outside the home start to increase as the evenings get lighter in March and steadily rise until their peak in July and August
Before going on holiday most homeowners remember to lock doors and windows, set the alarm and arrange for a neighbour to keep an eye on their property. But an analysis of a decade-worth of claims by insurance giant Aviva shows that it’s a crucial time to be looking out for sheds and gardens.

“Thefts from outside the home start to increase as the evenings get lighter in March and steadily rise until their peak in July and August, when they are almost 60% higher than the dark days of January,” Aviva warns.

As a result, it’s crucial to ensure that the kids’ snazzy bikes and scooters, those pricey garden tools and lawnmowers are locked up and hidden from view before you head off on holiday.

“The key with security while you are on holiday is to not to advertise that your home is empty,” says Jonathan Cracknell, household underwriter at Aviva. “So don’t leave wheelie bins out, leave a car in the drive if you can, and have some lights on timers to come on in the evenings and early mornings.”

Some home insurance policies provide cover for only a certain number of consecutive days while a home is empty - usually around two months. So if you’re going away for longer, be sure to tell your insurer first - otherwise any claims could be invalid.

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