Crime doesnít pay ñ but it does cost homeowners £546 million

  • Official crime statistics show domestic burglaries up 5%
  • Repair bill caused by burglaries could top £546 million

Homeowners who become victims of domestic burglaries face huge repair bills caused by vandalism and damages caused by the break-in, according to Homeserve.

The home emergency expert estimates that last year the cost of repairing locks or windows caused by burglaries could have cost homeowners as much as £546 million**.

New figures show the number of domestic burglaries in England and Wales has increased by five per cent* and according to Homeserve cash-strapped homeowners who fall victim to a break-in could face repair costs of on average £740 if their windows or locks are damaged.

The high costs are primarily due to the startling number of households who are uninsured against damage caused by burglars. Typically home contents insurance only covers homeowners against the theft of their possessions and insurers do not pay out to replace locks or repair broken windows.

New research from Homeserve shows that it costs homeowners an average £740 to repair or replace windows and locks in an emergency, and would cost a further £331 to repair any damaged white goods.

According to official statistics released today some 738,000 homes in England and Wales were burgled in 2007 – an increase of 5% from 702,000 in 2006.

And Homeserve is warning that homeowners who are already stretched financially face blowing a huge hole in the family budget if they have to call out repair companies to attend to damage caused by a burglary.

Jon Florsheim, CEO of Homeserve Membership, said: "At a time when many face escalating costs for other household bills such as mortgage repayments, petrol and energy, people do not want to be surprised with additional costs. We would therefore urge homeowners to ensure they have adequate cover in the event of an emergency."

Homeserve offers a wide range of insurance cover for, among other things, plumbing, drains and electrical wiring and pest contamination and handled over 1.2 million home emergencies last year alone. Homeserve’s ‘complete cover’ emergency policy includes issues with heating, plumbing and drainage, water and gas supply pipe, electrics, locks as well as pest contamination, emergency roofing, glazing repairs, plumbing maintenance, all for £324 a year.

* Home Office Research & Development Statistics – Crime
** Average cost of lock/window repairs (£740) multiplied by no. of domestic burglaries (738,000)
o Calculations: Number of homeowners in the UK today: 24,479,439 (Office National Statistics), 63% suffered a home emergency (15,422,046 households). 79% of these households had no insurance (12,183,416). Average cost of an emergency was £494. For 12,183,416 houses, this is a total cost of £6,018,607,984.
o Fieldwork was undertaken in February 2008 by ICM Research

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