Revealed: worst time for burglaries, insurance losses

Published: 21 December 2018

The Insurance Council of New Zealand (ICNZ) is urging Kiwis to stay safe this summer after an analysis of claims data showed that January is the busiest period of the year for burglaries.

According to ICNZ data, January was the busiest time of the year in 2017 and 2018 for contents claims. On average, 76 customers will have their homes burgled each day in January, costing insurers around $6.1 million over the month. January 2017 and 2018 has also been one of the busiest periods in the last of couple of years for car break-ins, with an average of around 1,000 claims costing insurers $3.8 million each year.

“These spikes in claims data show that this is a busy time of year for crooks looking to benefit from people’s Christmas shopping and their summer holidays,” ICNZ chief executive Tim Grafton said. “Insurance can help with damaged homes and vehicles and lost contents, but it can’t take away the stress all those things can cause.”

Taking some simple steps to secure properties and vehicles can greatly increase the chances of having a stress-free holiday period, he noted.

Here are some insurance tips, as outlined by the ICNZ, for a happier holiday period:

  • Let your insurance company know if you are going to be away from your house for a long period, if you have friends staying in your home while you’re away or if you are planning to list your home with services such as Airbnb or Bookabach;
  • Check your house, contents and vehicle policies are up-to-date and not due to run out over the holiday period;
  • Check whether you’re covered for under 25s or unnamed drivers before you let someone else drive your car. If you’re not and they have an accident, your insurance may not cover it;
  • Make a detailed list of possessions, including serial/model numbers and photos. Keep this with a copy of your policy somewhere separate to your possessions;
  • Mark “big ticket” items with a code or name to prove ownership. If these marks are hard to remove, they may also deter thieves;
  • Review your cover after Christmas to ensure any new valuables you may have been gifted are covered.