Recession Sparks Crime Fear for Homeowners and Many are Ready to 'Get Physical' to Protect Their Homes

Aug 14, 2012, 08:09 ET from

LONDON, August 14, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --

Millions of British homeowners are saying that they believe crime levels will rise because the country has gone back into recession, according to the insurer, Allianz Your Cover.  Research from the home insurance provider ( ) has found that nearly two-thirds (60%) of homeowners are expecting burglary and overall crime levels to increase. This is a continued trend, as in 2011, 60% of UK homeowners were expecting a rise in crime and burglaries.

Neil Brettell from Allianz Your Cover said:  "A fifth of the homeowners we spoke to have experienced a burglary and we are urging people to take a long hard look at their home's level of security and ask themselves if they think it would stop a determined burglar from entering the property? If the answer is no, we would recommend investing in home security to deter would be thieves."

The research also revealed that 39% of the respondents know exactly what 'weapon' they would use if an intruder broke in with one in five saying that they are "very likely" to use it. The most common item homeowners would use against an intruder is a baseball bat (14%), with 5% more men keeping this weapon at home than in 2011.

Over half of homeowners (52%) admit they are unsure about their legal rights when it comes to what they can do to protect their property and its contents from an intruder with just 11% of respondents claiming they completely understand the law on this issue.

Safe as Houses

When homeowners were asked about which security measures would make their properties more secure, the following precautions were the most popular:

  1. House Alarm (42%)
  2. Security Lights (34%)
  3. Locks on all windows and doors (31%)

Alongside these security measures, some homes also have in place high fences (24%), light switches timers (20%) and CCTV (7%).

This year, women have overtaken men as the gender which feels the safest at night time in the home, with 7% more women feeling safer than in 2011.

Neil Brettell continues: "Our research shows that currently 7% of British homeowners do not have any security measures in place at their property which equates to over one million homeowners[2]. Nearly two-thirds of those questioned (62%) think that they would become more security conscious if they were to experience a burglary and would subsequently look at increasing their home's security levels. We are urging homeowners not to wait for a burglary to happen but to look at their home security now."

Prevention is better than cure

Allianz Insurance is offering the following advice to those looking to increase their security to deter burglars and reduce the risk of a break-in:

  1. Install locks on all windows and external doors  
  2. Always set the house alarm when leaving your home, even if you intend to be gone for just a few minutes, and if you go out in the evening leave a light on in a main room
  3. Close and lock all garages, sheds and other outbuildings when not in use and never leave ladders or tools lying around as it's an open invitation to the opportunist thief
  4. Don't let strangers into your home unless you have verified their proof of identity
  5. Cancel deliveries e.g. milk and newspapers before you go on holiday and use timer light switches to avoid your house looking as if it is unoccupied
  6. Keep a record of your possessions, for example the serial numbers of TV's and DVD players and take photographs of valuable or unusual items.

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Notes to Editors:

A Survey of 1,000 homeowners was undertaken by 72 Point on behalf of Allianz Insurance during July 2012.

A survey of 2,000 Britons was undertaken by 72Point on behalf of Allianz Insurance during July 2011.

A survey of 2,500 Britons was undertaken by 72Point on behalf of Allianz Insurance during August 2008.

[1] Figure from the English Housing Survey (2010) with 14.5million homeowners in the UK and 7% of these homeowners do not have any security measures currently in place.

Allianz Insurance is one of the largest general insurers in the UK and part of the Allianz SE Group, the largest property and casualty insurer worldwide. Reassuringly in these uncertain financial times, in July 2010 the Standard and Poor's rating for Allianz Insurance was reaffirmed as AA- with a stable outlook and the rating of Allianz SE was also reaffirmed as AA with a stable outlook. Also in July 2010, Allianz Insurance won the General Insurer of the Year title at the prestigious British Insurance Awards, the third time the Company has won the award in the last six years. 

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