Having the correct locks fitted around your home is one way to protect the things that matter most to you. There are many types of locks that can be installed into doors, windows and outbuildings around your property – however, they must meet the requirements outlined in your home insurance policy.
Find out if your locks meet insurance policy requirements.
Types of approved locks
If you’ve just moved home and are looking to take out home insurance, or simply want to renew your existing policy, you’ll be asked about the security of your home and what locks you have installed. Here are the 2 types of locks your policy will cover:
British Standard (BS)
All locks installed around your home must clearly state that they are BS3621 approved; this code translates as a British Standard lock that’s thief-resistant. A kite mark should be visible either by the keyhole or where the locking bolts come out.
European Standard (EN)
A European-standard lock with a cylinder, or Eurocylinder that’s approved as thief-resistant, will be under the code EN 1303:2005. Generally, any lock products that are EN approved meet all the requirements set by European Standardisations Organisations.
Both these codes set the minimum requirements acceptable by the Association of British Insurers (ABI), however you should always refer to your policy documents for lock and security specifications.
Those living in newer homes won’t struggle to find the approved kite marks as new-builds have to meet safety requirements. If you live in an older property, and you’re unable to find the kite marks on your locks, ask an approved locksmith to check.
The lock you need will depend on what type of door or window you have. Here are the types of lock you should have installed around your home:
- Main entrance doors should be BS 3621 approved: either a 5 lever mortice lock, a Eurocylinder rim dead latch with internal key-locking handle, or a multi-point lock. Adding a night latch can also provide extra protection for your front door
- Sliding doors, for example patio or french doors must have a key-operated lock mounted inside on the centre rails as well as the standard fitted locks on the door
- Windows that can be accessed should be fitted with key-operated locks internally
- Other hinged external doors, for example shed or garage doors that don’t meet the descriptions above should have key-operated locks on the top and bottom of the door, as well as the lock already in the door
Once you’ve fitted locks where needed, and they meet British Standards, your home should meet policy requirements.
What can invalidate your home insurance policy
It’s important to read through your insurance documents carefully to make sure you’re fully covered for if the worst should happen.
- Make sure your policy details are kept up-to-date, especially if you decide to change or install new locks. Not telling your insurer which locks are installed around the home could invalidate your policy
- Extended holiday. Your policy will include how long you can leave your property unoccupied for in your documents. If you decide to go away for longer than stated in your policy, and someone breaks into your home, you may not be able to make a claim
- Accidents happen. Some home owners keep a spare set of keys hidden by their front doors. If you’re burgled, and the thief uses either your spare keys, or a set you’ve lost – this can invalidate your claim. If you forget to close a window, or you were in a hurry and didn’t set the alarm. Then this can also invalidate your claim
- Failing to report a crime will cancel out your claim, as a crime number is required to complete your insurance claim