Newly released figures from price comparison website, MoneySuperMarket, have shown that there has been a 2.5% increase in claims at an average of 16.04 claims per 1,000 in 2019 - up from 15.65 in 2018.
he firm analysed 3.1million home insurance claims over the last two years to identify the locations of the highest and lowest rate of claims for home contents theft within a five-year period and found that as expected, metropolitan areas dominate the rankings for areas with the highest amount of claims, with 18 postcodes out of the top 20 being located in Britain’s three largest cities. Nine are located in Greater London, four in Greater Birmingham and four in Greater Manchester, while one is in Bristol.
According to the data, the central Birmingham postcode of B5 is Britain’s top burglary claims hotspot. B5 - which covers Digbeth, Highgate and Lee Bank - tops the rankings with a rate of 57.14 home contents theft claims per 1,000 quotes.
One suburban and one rural area feature in the Top 20. The Surrey commuter belt postcode of GU23 - which covers Send, Ripley, Ockham and Wisley - has a home contents theft claims rate of 46.80 per 1,000 claims. The Cotswolds postcode of WR12- which covers Broadway - has a claims rate of 47.97 per 1,000.
At the other end of the rankings, the Staffordshire town of Leek (ST13) has the fewest burglary claims, with 0.69 claims per 1,000 quotes. The Scottish postcodes of G84 (Clynder, Cove, Garelochhead, Kilcreggan, Rhy, Rosneath, Shandon) and KY4 (Cowdenbeath) follow, with claims rates of 0.87 and 1.09 per 1,000 quotes respectively.
The research also reveals the top five postcodes with the highest average claims, with Birmingham and Greater London postcodes again featuring prominently:
1. B20 - Birchfield, Handsworth Wood, Perry Barr - £8,000
2. IG7 - Chigwell - £6,000
3. WD25 - Garston, Aldenham, Leavesden, Letchmore Heath - £5,000
4. TW13 - Feltham, Hanworth - £4,750
5. TW14 - Hatton - £4,600
Burglaries remain more common in colder, darker months, with claim numbers 12% higher in autumn than in summer. Houses also remain the preferred target of burglars and are 70% more likely to be burgled than flats.
Emma Garland, data scientist at MoneySuperMarket, commented: “Our research shows that burglary claims are continuing to rise, adding up to £50 to your premium. This could be down to burglars targeting more affluent areas, in order to steal desirable and expensive items. People in these areas are often more likely to have home insurance - simply because they can afford it – so we could see more claims as a result.
“It could also be because we’re seeing an increasing amount of people owning high value portable tech such as wireless headphones, fitness trackers, tablets and smartphones. These are all easy to steal, potentially contributing to the rise in the number of claims.
“Whatever the reason, it’s increasingly important to protect your home against theft. One option could be to look at the type of locks you currently have in your home, to help bolster the security of your doors and windows. Further measures such as burglar alarms, security lights and timers on your indoor lights that give the illusion of occupancy are all deterrents to burglars.
“Regardless of where you live, it’s always worth ensuring that you’ve got the right level of contents insurance cover for your needs. Shopping around could save you up to up to 41.70% (equivalent to £90.17) on your existing dealII.”