Home Insurance Research: Security Breaches

As many as 1 in 5 (19%) homeowners have experienced some form of security breach in or around their homes since the outbreak of Covid-19, according to new research from Aviva Insurance Ireland, one of Ireland’s leading insurers.  

The types of incidents reported nationwide ranged from suspicious strangers lurking around homes, residents feeling intimated by people nearby, cars stolen or damaged, to actual home break-ins.  

The research carried out by iReach Insights on behalf of Aviva, on 1,200 adults throughout the country, revealed that homeowners have been actively taking measures to reinforce the security in their homes. The top 5 security measures as chosen by homeowners include:

  1. The addition of window locks (48%)
  2. The installation of a house or smart home alarm (47%) 
  3. Security bolts on external doors (25%)
  4. Having a dog in the house for security (22%)
  5. Security cameras (20%)

It’s always concerning to hear that anyone has had their personal living space invaded to any extent. But what’s really encouraging from this survey is that people are taking measures to protect themselves, their family, and their property. From structural protections such as window locks to more frivolous additions such as “beware of the dog” signs erected by residents who don’t even own a dog, it appears that people are not complacent when it comes to home security – with 80% reporting to have taken one or more security measures

Billy Shannon, Aviva Insurance Ireland

The Aviva survey also sought to gain insight into people’s overall knowledge around their home insurance policy and ultimately what they are covered for.

Billy Shannon continued, “Most homeowners said they are confident that they are fully insured for rebuilding and contents costs, but there were still 36% who believe they could be underinsured. That’s a sizeable portion of people when you consider the hundreds of thousands of homeowners in the country – many of whom could be leaving themselves significantly financially exposed in the event of damage or loss to the property”. 

When probed on which valuables respondents have itemised on their home insurance policy, the top 5 items were:

  1. Engagement rings and other jewellery (33%)  
  2. Electronics such as computers, smartphones etc at 23% 
  3. Bicycles (12%)
  4. Watches and clock (8%) 
  5. Artworks / antique furniture (6%)

It is really important for homeowners to check with their insurer or broker to understand if they have sufficient cover for their needs. Both under and over insuring can be common mistakes by policyholders. Homeowners should also satisfy themselves that the sum insured is adequate to reflect the rebuilding cost of their home, taking into account fees and site clearing costs. The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland provides an online calculator which should help homeowners in determining this value.

Billy Shannon, Aviva Insurance Ireland

It’s also important to let your insurer know if you have added certain security features to your home such as burglar alarms and door locks.  With regards to contents cover, we recommend doing a room-by-room inventory to ensure the sums insured are adequate. Homeowners should also arrange extra cover where necessary for high value items or items such as jewellery, which are worn outside of the house regularly where ‘all-risks’ cover may be required”, concluded Billy Shannon.

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Aviva Group Services Ireland Limited, a private company limited by shares. Registered in Ireland No.322579. Registered Office One Park Place, Hatch Street, Dublin 2.