The locks on your home’s doors and windows are crucial when it comes to your home insurance: If they’re good enough, home insurers might give you a discount on your premiums, but if you tick the wrong boxes when opening the cover, you could inadvertently invalidate your policy.
Many people spend hours trawling through websites and using insurance brokers to try and save tens of pounds on the cost of insurance, but once they’ve found a policy they’re happy with, they don’t mind taking a guess on important questions about their home’s locks.
Wrong info about your locks could invalidate your cover
Unfortunately, if you’re burgled and your insurer realises that the locks you have don’t actually match those you claimed you had, it could invalidate any claim you make.
It might not be easy deciding if you have a five-lever mortice lock which adheres to British Safety standards, which some insurers insist on, but you really do need to know.
It’s not only worth knowing so you don’t accidentally invalidate your cover, it can also save you money; some insurers provide discounts of 5% to 7% for those with homes that are fitted with locks of the highest standard.
If you’re not sure, ask your insurer to send you clear examples of the different types of locks they expect you to have as a minimum, and which types will possibly get you a discount.
Here are the main types of locks there are, with links to examples you can buy so you can see what they’re like:
The cylinder rim lock is generally mounted on the inside part of a door, but externally to the frame, and is the lock that most insurers insist on as a minimum security requirement. Those which meet the British Standard, BS3621, are the best and, again, some insurers will require them to be.
Multi-point locking systems
Multi-point locking systems are usually found on uPVC doors, which could be a front door, but are more commonly used on doors going into gardens, garages and other rear areas.
They come in a wide variety, and there are usually a minimum of 3 locking points which slide into place simultaneously when the key is turned.
Five-lever mortice deadlocks
Five-lever mortice deadlocks are embedded into the door frame and, as such, assuming they five-levers (some can have less), are widely seen to provide a level of security which is high enough for some
providers to give you a discount if you have them fitted (but they would have to meet British Standard BS3621).
External facing window, and patio-window, locks
Most insurers expect windows, usually at least those on the ground floor, to have key operated locks fitted to the top or bottom, especially if it’s a patio
door which slides and perhaps has no multi-point lock.
If you have older windows, which just have a sliding lock fitted, you’ll need to tell your insurer so that they can take this into account when deciding what level of ‘risk’ your home presents.
Key operated locks for windows
Key operated locks on windows are usually found on uPVC windows on the handle which closes the window often operating like a tiny uPVC door.
Extra security options
Extra external facing door and window security which insurers might take into consideration when fixing your premiums include:
- Anti-lift devices – These can be fitted to garden and patio doors to stop them being pulled out of the frame.
- Window grilles – These act like more old-fashioned shutters and are pulled across inside a window to lock.
- Multi-point locking system bolts – For extra security, multi-point locking bolts are often fitted to uPVC-style doors and lock in a vertical fashion.
- Key-operated rim security bolts – These can be placed on the top and bottom of the door (on the inside of course!) and are fitted vertically.
Here at Policy Expert, our dedicated customer service team is always on hand to help – either online or over the phone. Whether you want assistance in finding the right policy or even handling a claim, we make sure it’s all handled by experts. For more information on what‘s covered under your Home Insurance policy, speak to one of our experts on 0203 014 9300 or email firstname.lastname@example.org