Making your home as secure as possible is obviously important from a personal safety point of view, but it could also cost you money if it isn’t up to scratch.
Home insurance providers expect you to provide a minimum level of security, and what they require changes depending on where you live (burglary rates vary from area to area), who your insurance provider is, and the type of cover you opt for.
Don’t risk invalidating a claim
If the types of locks you have on doors and windows don’t meet the standard your policy indicates you need, or they are poorly maintained, or worse still not even used, then you risk your insurer rejecting any claims.
If, for example, you live in a higher risk crime area, your policy might stipulate locks with meet a certain standard are fitted for you to be insured.
Higher security, lower premiums
In most cases insurers look favourably on those who have high quality locks and security systems, such as burglar alarms, and will offer lower premiums than for those that don’t.
So better security can save you cash, as well as potentially from having your house ransacked.
Which locks are available?
When you apply for cover, insurers may ask you what types of locks you have on any outside doors or patio windows such as sliding doors or French windows. They will also ask about locks on other accessible windows.
Here are the main types available, with the benefits, or otherwise, of each:
Five-lever mortice deadlock
This is the most secure type of lock in general use as it has at least five locking levers which drive into a pocket, or pockets, in the door or window frame where the lock is fitted.
Your insurer may insist that your five-lever lock conforms to the correct British Standard (usually BS 3621).
Additionally you may get a discount if all your ground floor and exit doors and windows have this type of lock fitted.
Multi-point locking system
These are the next best type of locks to five-lever systems. They have three locking points and are common on most uPVC doors and windows.
Rim automatic deadlocking nightlatch/deadlatch
The nightlatch, or deadlatch as it is also called, contains a springbolt which can be locked, or deadlocked, by a key or other method.
These are commonly fitted to many front doors, but don’t offer a particularly high level of protection if they’re the only lock fitted to a door.
If you only have a simple key-operated lock on external facing doors, or just a nightlatch, your insurer may insist on you also having bolts fitted.
Key operated window locks
Many insurers will insist that you have key-operated window locks, or at least some other form of security lock, on all downstairs windows.
Window locks are usually fitted at either the top or bottom of the window, or on the closing handle.
Specific mention should also be made of French windows, as you must ensure that these are fitted not only with key-operated locks, but also key-operated mortice rack bolts at the top and bottom of both doors.
Our customers are at the heart of everything we do, so we have a team of experts with a real passion for making sure people get the cover that’s right for them at the right price. For more information, you can call our experts on 0330 0600 600 or visit www.policyexpert.co.uk/contact for more ways to reach us.
Published 24 September 2017