Analysis of 10 years of the insurer’s claims data reveals that thefts from gardens and outbuildings shoot up by over a quarter when the clocks go forward, with the average haul totalling around £850.
Children’s toys, bikes and garden tools are favourites with thieves, and of the garden equipment stolen last year: 42% of thefts were for power tools; 39% were for simple hand tools and 19% were for electric and petrol lawnmowers, chainsaws and ladders.
The research shows that thefts from outside the home begin to increase at the start of March, as evenings get lighter, with a 10% rise compared to the dark nights of January.
Claims then steadily increase as the days get longer and lighter until they reach their peak in July and August, when they are almost 40% higher than at the beginning of the year.
Peter Ketteringham, household underwriting manager at Aviva, says; “Extra hours of sunlight are obviously very welcome after months of darkness, but it also means that your expensive power tools, bikes and golf clubs are more visible than ever to a passing thief, as is your home security– or lack of it!”
Aviva’s top tips for beating garden thieves are as follows:
• Put away your garden tools, paddling pool, trampoline and bikes at the end of the day.
• Lock your sheds and out-buildings, replace any rusty padlocks.
• Close gates and repair damaged fences – deterrents are sometimes the best prevention.
• Hide or cover bulky items which can’t be locked away, such as large gas barbecues and picnic benches.
• Lock up ladders and secure wheelie bins – they are perfect for giving burglars a leg up into the rest of your home.
Brit to sell non-core regional UK business to QBE
Brit Insurance has announced that it is to sell its non-core regional UK business to QBE Insurance (Europe) Limited. The announcement comes as part of Brit’s strategic move to become a more focused major specialty (re)insurer at Lloyd’s and on the global stage.
The transaction takes the form of a business transfer, shifting renewal rights, operations and assets but not transferring historic business.
Brit UK underwriting related employees will move to QBE when the transaction is complete.
Brit Insurance Limited is to be retained by Brit Group whilst the firm undergoes a strategic review, with policies written by Brit Insurance Limited maintained in accordance with agreed terms.Brit Group will also retain all business written by Brit Global Specialty.
Brit Insurance Group Chief Executive Officer Mark Cloutier said that Ray Cox had built a great team within the UK Division, and expressed his pleasure that they had found a good home with QBE.
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AXA promotes stress-busting in car sticky patches
With one in ten motorists regularly stressed behind the wheel, AXA has been looking into soothing techniques.
According to the insurer’s research, having a cuppa topped the motorist’s stress-busting list but is hardly an option when stuck in a traffic jam, being tailgated or feeling rushed. More feasible is something that doesn’t distract but can calm on touch.
Apparently, colours such as blue and green, scents such as ocean spray, and the touch of a soft material such as velvet, all have a calming effect so AXA went ahead and challenged a designer to come up with the ultimate in-car “soother”.
The result: a self-adhesive fragrant patch that can be stuck on the steering wheel.
Other top ways of calming down – some more practical on the move than others – were: listening to music (67%), having a massage (40%), driving on a sunny day (63%) or in beautiful scenery (57%).
AXA spokesperson, Amanda Edwards, says: “We all get stressed behind the wheel at times, but something as simple as a gadget like this could make all the difference.” She adds: “While a sunny day and driving to the sound of nice music or waves lapping – or indeed a trip to the seaside – make us happy, failing that, perhaps this ‘soother’ is the best option.”
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