Keeping Your Homes Secure During Summer Holidays:

A Claims Manager's Guide for Brokers

With less than a month to go, our British Summertime will be over. But although our holiday season may be drawing to a close – it doesn’t mean that our client’s is too. The excitement of vacations and staycations can sometimes overshadow the importance of home security. Our High Net Worth Claims Manager, Jamie Kemp has seen many claims occurring whilst clients are away and, in this blog, we will explore some valuable tips to reduce the risk of the worst happening. But rest assured – if the worst does occur, we are here to put it right.

If you know your clients are going away, please share these tips to help you advise your clients on how to keep their homes secure during the summer holidays.

  • Criminals and theft

It's not uncommon for criminals to have a keen eye on unoccupied homes and there is much that can be done to reduce this risk.

The first line of defence for any home is its entry points. Encourage your customers to invest in robust locks for doors and windows. Deadbolt locks supply an added layer of security and should be fitted on all external doors. For sliding doors and windows, placing a metal rod or dowel in the track can deter potential intruders. Give the appearance that the home is occupied and allow for people to be present.

Don’t leave waste collection bins out. Better still arrange for friends to stay or use one of the many reputable agencies such as Home Sitters to look after the house while you are away. Burglars do not like to run in to people when they are targeting a theft!

  • Mirrors and Fire Risks

As well as burglaries, we also see households suffer domestic disasters due to fire and water damage. We have previously reported on several claims we have manged for fires caused by reflecting sun rays off mirrors.

Our largest claim this year is due to this very mundane reason. It was distressing to see a beautiful country home almost destroyed by a fire and its effect on the family. Once a fire has taken hold, a lifetime of memories can be lost in a few hours and a long period of displacement and inconvenience will follow before the home can be restored.

We have had similar occurrences of fires caused by reflected sun rays from a paper

weight in a summerhouse and also some binoculars left in a conservatory while the family were abroad. Please move mirrors and other items like this, away from direct sunlight. 

  • Escape of Water

Escape of water from the domestic water systems can also happen when homes are unoccupied. This is when leaks accumulate and release when you didn’t know you had them.

Before leaving for holiday, check the loos are running free and ball valves are well maintained and working efficiently. Better still, close the mains water stopcock whilst away. Also, be thoughtful of the intense summer rainstorms we may have and make sure the gutters and drain runs are clear and flowing freely.


  • Install a Security System

Recommend that your clients consider installing a comprehensive security system. Modern security systems come equipped with cameras, motion sensors, and alarms. When activated, these systems can alert homeowners and security companies in case of any suspicious activities, enabling immediate response. As insurance brokers, you can inform your customers that some insurance providers may offer premium discounts for homes equipped with security systems, making it a win-win situation.

  • Utilise Smart Home Technology

Smart home technology can play a pivotal role in enhancing security during the summer holidays. Smart doorbells with built-in cameras and two-way audio allow homeowners to check visitors remotely and even communicate with them. Smart lighting systems that can be controlled via smartphones can create the illusion of occupancy, deterring potential burglars. By integrating these technologies, your customers can safeguard their homes and potentially reduce the risk of property damage or theft.

  • Enlist the Help of Neighbours

Neighbours can be a valuable asset in maintaining home security during the holidays. Encourage your customers to inform their trusted neighbours about their holiday plans. These neighbours can keep an eye on the property, collect mail, and even park their cars in the driveway occasionally to create an impression of occupancy. Such efforts can significantly reduce the risk of burglary and other security-related incidents.

  • Securing Valuables and Important Documents

As insurance brokers, you understand the importance of protecting valuable possessions and essential documents. Recommend that your customers store valuables, such as jewellery and important documents, in secure safes or safety deposit boxes during their absence. Not only does this prevent potential theft, but it also ensures that these valuable items are well-protected in case of unforeseen events.

  • Avoid Sharing Travel Plans on social media

In today's digital age, oversharing travel plans on social media can unwittingly attract the attention of burglars. Remind your customers to resist the temptation of posting real-time updates about their vacations. Encourage them to wait until they return home to share their travel experiences to minimize the risk of their vacant property becoming a target.

By implementing these measures, your customers can enjoy peace of mind during their summer holidays while mitigating potential risks and claims, resulting in happier clients and better insurance outcomes for all parties involved. We hope all our customers have a safe and happy holiday and come back to everything as you left it!