An insurance expert is urging homeowners across the region to be extra vigilant about security during warm summer weather.
The message to would-be victims follows police warnings of a potential spike in domestic burglaries as temperatures soar.
Will McCarter, of insurance broker Lycetts, said: “When the air heats up, people naturally tend to open more windows and doors.
“It’s all too easy to forget to secure them at night, making it easier for opportunistic burglars to strike.
“Burglars will often target small, expensive items such as watches and jewellery as they can be easy to find and sold-on swiftly.
“A common mistake is to renew home insurance cover each year without re-calculating the value of possessions, simply giving an ‘educated guess’ of their worth. An item’s value for insurance purposes is how much it would cost to buy new, not what it cost when you bought it.
“Getting legitimate valuations is the safest route to being sufficiently insured.
“Homeowners should make a detailed inventory – item by item, room by room – and be diligent about receipt-keeping for high value items.
“Some possessions, such as expensive jewellery, collectables, family heirlooms, valuable antiques or fine art may need separate specialist cover.”
McCarter urged householders to consider bolstering home security with smart technology.
“We have witnessed an upsurge in the number of clients investing in smart home security systems and doorbell cameras, as well as app-controlled locks, smart motion-sensor cameras and wireless light switches, which are all great ways of improving security and reducing the risk profile for insurers.
“However, while technology has its advantages, homeowners should be mindful that it can also pose risks.
“Social media can be a useful resource for would-be burglars, as they can easily scope out your daily schedules to establish when the house is most likely to be empty.
“Review privacy settings on social media platforms, refrain from over-sharing information, and only share holiday snaps once you’ve returned home.
“It’s important to check your home insurance policy too, as some may pay out less or not at all if you’ve publicised that you’re away on social media.”
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