Aviva’s Home Security Report: Property Ladder Priorities
When buying a home, it feels like there are a million-and-one things to consider. Different priorities come at different points in life for most people, with new parents wanting different things to retirees. However, Aviva’s Home Security Report1 has found that young people seem to be sacrificing safety and potentially facing flooding and crime, just so that they can get one foot on the property ladder.
Over 2,000 UK current and potential homeowners were surveyed, and the results illustrated huge disparities by age group. The most telling of these statistics is probably that fact that those in the 18-34 age bracket are more than twice as likely than over 55s to be willing to live in an area of high crime, while four in 10 (44%) would live in a location prone to flooding (compared to one in 10 of over 55s). This is likely due to the fact that buying a property is harder for this generation than before.
In spite of this, the good news is that 18-24s are definitely taking the initiative when it comes to protecting their homes. When moving into their current homes nearly half (46%) said they had made significant changes to make their properties safer, compared to just 17% of over 55s.
Safe and secure?
Lucie Banham, Director of leading security company Banham Group says that in 70% of burglaries the point of entry is the door, and 5% get in using a key. Therefore, she says the first thing to do when moving is change the locks. She advises, “Often, you can just change the barrels of your locks and using a key registration system to track how many keys have been cut will ensure your keys and your property are kept safe.”
Our top tips
- Get an alarm. However, Banham states, “It’s important to make sure it’s working and you have reset all the alarm codes. Often people don’t get round to setting up and using their alarm systems when they move home.”
- Don’t leave doors and windows unlocked, or you could invalidate an insurance policy or reduce a payout.
- Tools like ladders and wrenches left outside your property may be used by burglars to force entry, so keep them locked in a garage or secure shed.
- In the unfortunate event of a break-in, despite any shock you’re feeling, be sure to report incidents to the police within 24 hours to get a crime number.
The report also revealed a few more worrying numbers across the board with regard to home security. For example, 23% of homeowners admitted to waiting five months before making any safety/security changes when moving into a new home - 6% even say they never did any at all even though they knew they needed to make improvements.
The internet has also meant that new perils that have emerged, making the need for security improvements even more important than ever.
People forget that photos, floor plans and now even virtual tours of their property have been listed online with estate agents as part of the sales process. Whilst this is useful for purchasers, it also can reveal the security arrangements of the property, giving a guide to burglars by showing potential locations and weaknesses in the existing security.
With police statistics indicating that homes with no security measures are five times more likely to be burgled than those with simple changes like strong locks2, this could be a severe wake-up call.
In deep water
When it comes to flooding, unfortunately, we can’t control nature, which means being prepared for any eventuality is the best plan. Astoundingly, though, only 57% of 18-24s have contents cover despite being willing to live in the most high-risk areas. As Aviva UK’s Managing Director of Personal Lines, Lindsey Rix states in the report, “Home insurance tends to be something people think about when things go wrong.” Those without cover may certainly regret it if their slippers are replaced with Wellington boots!
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Additional SourcesUnless stated otherwise, all figures are taken from a poll of 2,001 UK adults from across the UK, including homeowners and people currently looking to buy a property. The research was carried out by Censuswide Research on behalf of Aviva in August 2016.