Homeowners in the region fear the challenging financial climate will trigger a rise in burglaries, according to a new survey.

However, only 14 per cent said they will review their home contents insurance despite their worries of burglaries increasing.

Findings by leading insurance broker, Lycetts, also showed that more than two-fifths (41 per cent) have no intention of adding to their home security measures.

“These are difficult times, which is why it’s important that homeowners check they have adequate insurance in place should the worst happen, and they become victims of burglary,” said Lycetts’ insurance expert, William McCarter.

“Burglars will often target small, expensive items such as watches and jewellery as they are easy to transport and sell-on swiftly.

“A common mistake is to renew home insurance cover each year without re-calculating the value of possessions, simply giving an ‘educated guess’ of their worth.

“An item’s value for insurance purposes is how much it would cost to buy new, not what it cost when you bought it.

“Getting written, professional valuations is the safest route to being sufficiently insured. Homeowners should make a detailed inventory – item by item, room by room – and be diligent about receipt-keeping for high value items. 

“Some possessions, such as expensive jewellery, collectables, family heirlooms, valuable antiques or fine art may need separate specialist cover.”

Despite 79% of homeowners in the region fearing the challenging financial climate will cause a rise in residential burglaries, the latest Crime Survey for England and Wales (CSEW) revealed a decrease.

In the South West, the number of incidents fell by 9 per cent in June 2023, compared with June 2022, with 10,622 burglaries being reported.

In Devon and Cornwall there was a 15 per cent increase.

Across England and Wales in general, there was a 32 per cent decrease in residential burglaries for the year ending June 2023, compared with the pre-coronavirus year ending March 2020.

Urging caution, McCarter stressed the importance of reviewing policies on a regular basis during unsettled periods, rather than just at annual renewal.

He also highlighted that it is the policy holder, not the insurer, who is responsible for ensuring sums insured are adequate.

“Those considering amending their policies should always seek specialist advice before making any decisions.

“There is no guarantee that you will not become a victim of burglary, but doing the utmost to ensure your property and its contents are protected by robust insurance, can at least help mitigate the trauma if you are.”