Unoccupied houses and stacks of gifts could make your home a target for thieves over the festive period – are you covered if the worst were to happen?
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You might have the presents, food and travel sorted, but are you really #XmasReady? We've six questions to consider to help keep your home safe and make sure you don't lose out if you were to be burgled over Christmas.
Is your home secure?
At Christmas, it's not unusual to be away from your home for a few days as you visit friends and family. Burglars know this, and that there could be new, high-value items inside. The shorter days make it a prime time for break-ins.
There are a few things you can do to protect your home including installing automatic lights, locks on windows and alarms on doors – all things which might help reduce your insurance premiums too.
Are you showing off expensive gifts?
More than a quarter of people (28%) put the gifts around the tree well before the big day, according to Churchill Insurance. Though it might be lovely to do this, you could be letting prospective thieves know there are new shiny things in your home, particularly if the tree is visible from the outside.
Keep curtains closed, and don't put the presents out until Christmas Eve.
Where are you keeping your presents?
With kids adept at finding the hiding places around a home, you might be tempted to keep Christmas gifts in the garage, shed or even in the boot of your car - M&S Bank revealed two in five (38%) do this!
The problem is anything left outside the home might not be insured. Outbuildings are sometimes excluded from standard policies, and your car insurance will probably have limits.
Is your policy big enough?
When you take out insurance you're asked to put a figure on the value of all your items. You might find any claim is rejected if you've underinsured – so if you think that total has increased thanks to Christmas you'll need to talk to your insurer.
Have you bought anything really expensive?
Anything that costs more than a set limit, normally between £1,000 and £2,000, will generally need to be specified on an insurance policy. You might also have to add in laptops, bikes and any other high-risk items. So if any gifts you give or receive fit these criteria, you'll need to get them added to your policy as soon as possible.
Are your gadgets protected?
With many gifts now high tech, you might find they're excluded from your contents insurance – particularly if they're taken out of the home or are more susceptible to accidental damage.
This article is provided by the Money Advice Service.