Break-ins can happen to anyone. Although burglary rates are decreasing in Canada, burglaries are still a common cause of home insurance claims. Here are eight suggestions from our experts to protect your home from thieves!
Generally, most home insurance policies cover theft. However, filing a claim has certain repercussions. You can expect to pay a higher insurance premium when you renew, in addition to paying the deductible. As the proverb goes, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
1. Keep your doors locked
This is key. Whenever you go out — even if you’re just stepping into your backyard — make a habit of locking your doors and windows. Someone could easily slip inside your home if you forget. You should also ensure that the windows in your basement are secured with bars.
2. Install good-quality locks
According to CAA Quebec, in two out of three cases of theft, the intruder gets into the house by forcing the door. For this reason, installing good-quality locks with a reinforced horizontal deadbolt is highly recommended. We also suggest reinforcing your door frames and hinges.
3. Install a security system
Installing a centrally monitored home security system is an excellent way to deter would-be intruders. The sight of a sticker with the name of your security company could be enough to send burglars running! In addition to giving you peace of mind, this option may qualify you for a discount on your insurance premium. Call your broker here at Lareau to find out more.
4. Use discretion on social media
To avoid any nasty surprises, avoid posting statuses or photos on social media that show you’re away. While it’s tempting to share highlights and sunsets from your trip, this lets thieves know that your house is currently empty. Wait until you get home to post on social media, or share your photos with loved ones via email or text.
5. Give your home a lived-in look
If you will be away for a long time, there are a few tricks you can use to outwit thieves. Some examples include:
- Asking a neighbour to park a car in your driveway and arranging for someone to shovel after a snowfall.
- Having someone collect your mail if your mailbox is located next to the door.
- Connecting your interior lights to timers to make it look like people are home.
6. Leave the lights on
Dark, poorly lit areas provide a great opportunity for thieves to hide in the shadows and go unnoticed. It is recommended that you keep your doorways well lit. We also strongly suggest using motion sensor lights in your backyard and around your shed.
7. Hide your valuables
Never leave your valuables in plain sight. If you have valuable items, jewelry or bank notes, store them in a safe. Avoid leaving packaging and boxes in the street for garbage collection. No one needs to know about the new computer or big screen TV you just bought. You should also avoid leaving bikes or other sports equipment outside.
8. Lock your shed
Finally, sheds are also often a target for burglars. It’s important to restrict access to your shed by locking it and keeping it well lit. We strongly recommend keeping the door locked at all times, even if you’re only stepping away for a few minutes.
You are now ready to take all the necessary precautions to protect your home from break-ins. Although it’s impossible to prevent them entirely, you can still significantly decrease the risk. If you have any questions about coverage for theft or how to protect yourself, don’t hesitate to contact one of our brokers, who will be able to provide you with sound advice.