How to best protect your home from burglary
Every person’s home is their castle – filled with their personal treasures. If you've ever experienced being burgled, you'll know that it can be pretty upsetting. Heres a helpful guide to understanding home burglaries. We detail what items are most commonly stolen, ways to help protect your home from getting burgled and more.
Most stolen items from homes
You may be wondering what particular items burglars are most interested in stealing. We’ve used AAMI Contents claims data (2018-2023) to bring you the top 5 items most stolen from Aussie homes – by quantity, not value.
If it shines, sparkles, or glitters, then robbers want it. Jewellery is considered to be a high-risk category as a result. These are the most common pieces of jewellery stolen:
Stolen not solely by famous fictional characters, rings are a highly favoured target for robbers. Considering their value-to-weight ratio, it’s no wonder. They’re small, valuable, and easy for the average thief to slip into their pocket – and accounted for 5.2% of all claims.
Second on this list are necklaces, which accounted for 4.7% of all claims. This includes chains, chokers, pearls, pendants, and lockets.
A statistic that may horrify horologists is that watches made up 4.1% of all claims.
Earrings round out the list of the most stolen items from Aussie homes, making up 3.7% of all total theft claims.
If you have beloved jewellery pieces at home, add extra peace of mind to your home safety plan with home insurance. AAMI Contents Insurance can cover your jewellery, not just against theft, but also fire, flood, storm and other insured events. This includes one-of a-kind pieces stolen from your home. Where possible, we’ll get them replaced or repaired. Otherwise, we’ll pay you what the item would have cost right before the loss or damage, up to the relevant limits of $2,000 for any one incident.
2. Handbags, wallets and purses
Handbags – and their contents – are extremely valuable. As a result, they’re easy grab-and-go targets for thieves and account for over 4.6% of total theft claims. But while it’s frustrating to order a new license and cancel a few credit cards, some comfort can be found in knowing that AAMI Contents Insurance will generally cover handbags and wallets, and many of the things they contain.
Laptops, notebooks and tablets made up 4.1% of our total theft claims. If you can’t imagine being without your devices, don’t worry; our standard Contents Insurance can cover them at home.
If you like to stay connected on the go, consider adding Portable Valuables Cover as an optional cover. And remember — you'll need to list these types of devices on your policy as ‘extra cover portable valuables - specified items’.
4. Power tools
Power tools made up 3.7% of all our total theft claims. Luckily for tradies (and anyone who keeps equipment used for business purposes at home), we cover tools of trade. These items don’t need to be specified; you’re entitled to up to $2,000 if they’re lost or damaged in an insured event – like burglary.
Rounding out the list is bicycles, which comprised 3.1% of all our theft claims. Luckily, standard bikes are covered for loss or damage at home under an AAMI Contents Insurance policy.
How to make an insurance claim for break-ins and theft
It’s understandable to feel angry and anxious whenever a theft or break-in occurs. The important thing is to try and remain calm.
If the thief is still in the home, do not confront them. Get out of the home or find a safe place to hide. Then call triple-zero immediately.
If the thief is no longer there, take a few breaths, contact the police ensuring you use the non-emergency phone number or online reporting tool. Once you have done this document the exact state of the house – has it been trashed, or are there only a few things disturbed?
It is extremely important that you do not touch anything. If you do so, you run the risk of compromising the crime scene. After this, contact your insurer and go through your home and identify what’s missing or what needs to be repaired. It’s essential that you review your policy and see what’s covered and not covered.
How to prevent a burglary
Now that we’ve covered what items are commonly stolen from homes let’s explain ways to prevent theft.
1. Keep your house locked
No surprises here. The most common ways thieves enter properties are through unlocked doors and windows. Lock up whenever you leave the house – even if it’s just a quick trip to the shops. A little effort goes a long way.
2. Upgrade your home security system
Installing a home security system is pretty inexpensive these days. Motion sensor lighting is tried and tested method to surprise thieves and alert you and your neighbours to a potential crime. Wireless security cameras allow you to monitor your home via your smartphone and come in various options to suit all budgets.
Or, if you want to take your home security up a notch, an alarm system is a great way to deter thieves, especially if it can be seen from the street. This might be a good option for added peace of mind on holidays.
3. Keep valuables out of sight
Out of sight, out of mind, and out of the hands of thieves! Keeping your most valuable items in secret and secure places – like a safe – is a great way to protect them. Cash is a commonly stolen item from homes, and it is important to note that AAMI Contents Insurance does not cover it, so it’s best to keep any cash in a secure location. Another tip is to close your blinds and curtains when leaving the house, skewing the vision of opportunists. Remember, some thieves will still break into your home undeterred by nosey neighbours.
Should a thief still get into your house, it helps if you don’t store your items in obvious places like a jewellery box. Get creative and keep them in unusual spots – just remember where!
4. Don’t provide cover for thieves
Trimming the hedge does more than make the yard look nice; it also prevents a hiding place for burglars. Despite popular belief, thieves tend to break in more during the day; while houses are unoccupied, not under the cover of darkness. Keep your home’s bushes and trees trimmed so entryways aren’t concealed.
5. Create a neighbourhood watch program
Knowing your neighbours is a great – and free – way to protect your home. You can organise to collect each other’s mail while on holidays (an overflowing letterbox makes your home an attractive target) and report back if there’s ever any strange activity. If you want to go the extra mile, join a neighbourhood watch program or create your own!
AAMI customer story:
4,000km away from home and burgled
Georgia Bainbridge got news nobody wants to receive while on vacation – her home had been burgled. What’s worse, this hadn’t been the first time. Luckily for Georgia, she had AAMI Home and Contents Insurance.
With access to AAMI’s 24/7 claims line, Georgia could easily make a claim from Bali. The process was quick and straightforward, so she didn’t have to stay in an empty house for long when she returned from her trip.
‘’After speaking to the police, I called AAMI,’’ says Georgia. ‘’The customer service was fantastic. They calmed me down and talked me through the whole thing.
I couldn’t believe how easy the claims process was, from that first phone call to getting my replacement items.''
While this cover helped Georgia in her time of need, there are limitations to this coverage. For example, if a home is vacated for more than 60 consecutive days the cover is limited. So keep that in mind next time you book a trip.
At AAMI, we’re committed to helping our customers bounce back from the unexpected — and we know the unexpected can happen any day, any time. Your insurer may not have a 24/7 claims line, but AAMI does. We’ll also assign you a home and contents case rep because we know how important it is to have someone who understands the ins and outs of your specific situation.
Stay protected with AAMI Comprehensive Home Insurance
AAMI Comprehensive Home Insurance gives you added peace of mind knowing you’re protected through life’s challenging times – like when you’re burgled. Find the best insurance policy for you, your family, and your home today.
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Insurance is issued by AAI Limited ABN 48 005 297 807 AFSL 230859 trading as AAMI. Any advice has been prepared without taking into account your particular objectives, financial situation or needs, so you should consider whether it is appropriate for you before acting on it. Please read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement before you make any decision regarding this product. The Target Market Determination is also available.
The information is intended to be of general nature only. Subject to any rights you may have under any law, we do not accept any legal responsibility for any loss or damage, including loss of business or profits or any other indirect loss, incurred as a result of reliance upon the information. Please make your own enquiries.