According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics around 2.5 per cent of Australian households (nearly 230,000 homes across Australia) experienced a break-in between July 2016 and June 2017. In the same period, around 2.1 per cent (or just over 190,000) of homes had an attempted break-in.
Over this 12-month period:
- 5 per cent of Northern Territory households were burgled
- followed by Western Australia (4.3 per cent)
- Victoria with 2.8 per cent
- 2 per cent for NSW and Queensland.
Cash is the most commonly stolen item, followed by laptops, jewellery, and personal electronic items such as cameras and phones. Handbags, credit cards and TVs are also attractive to thieves.
The tips below can help reduce the chances of a break-in and the stress that comes with it, such as filing a policy report, making an insurance claim, taking time off work and feeling unsafe in your own home.
Security for your home
Security tools discourage thieves
An alarm system alone is an effective way of scaring off burglars. The AIC found around 49 per cent of thieves who participated in its Drug Use Monitoring in Australia (DUMA) program were discouraged to enter the property if there was a working alarm system. In the same survey nearly 23 per cent of respondents were deterred by sensor lights and 19 per cent were discouraged by grilled windows and doors.
Change the locks
Changing the locks after you’ve moved into a new home can make your property much more secure. You should also change the locks if you think they may have been tampered with or damaged, whether through a previous break-in attempt or otherwise.
If you or another resident lose any keys to the property you should also consider replacing the locks and sets of keys entirely. You can never be too careful when it comes to protecting your home.
Get a dog
That same survey by the AIC discovered a surprising method for break-in prevention: a dog. More than 61 per cent of respondents said they would be dissuaded from entering a property if a dog was on site. They also said the dog didn’t necessarily have to be large or dangerous; the dog’s bark was enough to discourage thieves as it would draw attention to their presence.
Protect your valuables
If you own any valuables make sure they’re hidden away where burglars can’t easily spot them.
This is especially true for valuables such as jewellery, laptops and handbags sitting on benches, tables or by a window where they can be seen from outside. Easily identifiable items are a huge incentive for thieves so they’re best hidden from view. Either move them to a more secure location or if it’s hard-to-move item such as a TV, pull the blinds or draw the curtains when you’re not home.
Insure your home and contents
Home and contents cover will help to financially protect your personal belongings and property against home burglary. In the event of theft you can lodge a claim for the cost of stolen items and any parts of your home damaged during the break in, such as windows or doors.
If you’re renting or own a strata-managed property you can take out contents insurance to cover personal belongings, and parts of your home’s interior such as light fittings, curtains and blinds that you have installed.
For ANZ Contents insurance or ANZ Home and Contents insurance in general you are covered up to the contents sum insured. For some contents there are specific limits, such as for an engagement ring, a prized art piece or a stamp collection the most we will pay is $3000 per item. For items worth more than $3000 you have the option of increasing the limit by specifying items under the Specified Valuables option. You can nominate the value to ensure you are getting the right coverage for the right amount. Be sure to read the product disclosure statement to understand what items can be covered under this option.