Making access too easy for burglars can leave your home and possessions at a higher risk of theft and damage, and is one of the most common ways that people unwittingly invalidate their contents insurance or buildings insurance policies.
“Lots of people use hideaway keys which are left on or near the property,” says Martyn Dyson, Head of General Insurance at Nationwide. “If a burglar can get access to your house that isn’t forced, like through an unlocked window or by using a hidden key, technically you wouldn’t be entitled to a pay-out by your insurer in the event of any theft or damage.”
Windows left open in unoccupied rooms, even if you are elsewhere in the house, could leave you in a tricky situation if there was to be a break-in while the window was unlocked.
Forgetting to set the burglar alarm, when your house insurance quote was based on having one, is another way to make your home insurance invalid. The same goes for failing to regularly check and replace the batteries in your home’s burglar – and smoke – alarms.
Similarly, any valuable items or tools – such as ladders or hammers – that could be used to help gain access into the property should be secured or locked away whenever possible.