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Do you live in a burglary hotspot?

Written by: Paloma Kubiak
London residents are most likely to suffer a burglary, with 16 of the capital's postcode areas appearing in a top 20 burglary hotspots list.

The London borough of Redbridge in the north-east of the capital takes the top spot for the number of burglary claims, with a rate of 54.7 claims per 1,000 quotes, down from 56.7 per 1,000 quotes the previous year.

Analysis of 1.8 million home insurance quotes run on MoneySuperMarket over the past two years found that Whetstone, Chadwell Heath and Clayhall, which are all in north London, also appeared in the top five.

Leeds was the only area outside of London to feature high on the burglary list, taking fourth place.

Burglaries in Cambridge have soared. Last year, it avoided making the top 20, but this year it has risen to 12th position with a rate of 41.8 claims per 1,000 quotes

Chorlton-cum-Hardy in Manchester also features in the top 20, with a rate of 40.5 burglary claims per 1,000 quotes.

Last year, desirable Dulwich in south London bagged the top spot but this year, it has fallen to ninth place as the rate of burglary claims in the area dropped by 29%.

Residents in Monkseaton in North Tyneside and Bideford in Devon should be pleased as they share the lowest rate, with just 0.9 claims per 1,000 quotes.

Overall, the rate of burglary claims has fallen by 8% in the last year from 13.58 per 1,000 quotes to 12.44 per 1,000 in this year.

The value of claims submitted in winter are on average 36% higher than those submitted in winter, which could be due to the number of high-value Christmas presents in the home.

The value of insurance for laptops, jewellery, watches and bicycles has also grown in the last year, as Brits invest in the latest gadgets.

The analysis found the average collective value of itemised possessions (items listed on contents policies because of their high value, typically £1,500 or more) was £4,192 per policy in autumn 2016, which is 39% more than in 2011.

‘Urban areas are the biggest targets for theft’

Kevin Pratt, consumer affairs expert at MoneySuperMarket, said: “Burglars are interested in two things: where should I go to find stuff worth stealing and where am I least likely to get caught? Our findings suggest busy urban areas are the biggest targets for theft, but those who call leafy suburbia home should also be aware of the risks associated with the higher anticipated value of their belongings.

“Burglary results in a double dose of trauma, with both emotional and financial repercussions taking a long-term toll on those affected. To avoid the turmoil, it’s vital to be vigilant against break-ins and to bolster home security to prevent them in the first place. It’s also crucial to ensure you have contents insurance in place to cover you should the worst happen.”

Pratt said the average cost of combined buildings and contents cover has fallen steeply in recent times.

“However, anyone who hasn’t switched for a number of years will probably be paying substantially more than they could if they switched provider, making it important to shop around for a more competitive price the next time their policy is up for renewal,” he said.

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