Homeowners may think that locking the doors and windows of their property is enough to keep it safe from burglars but is it?
Most homes usually have several keys covering front doors, back doors, side doors, and windows as well as garages, sheds and outbuildings. But with so many keys to keep track of, it could be easy for one to end up in the wrong hands. And if this does happen, and someone breaks into your home using a key, will your home insurance cover you?
The answer is no, according to insurer Churchill, who confirm that, for burglary claims to be paid out, forced entry must be proven, so a homeowner would not be covered if a key is used.
Maybe you, or your child, lost a key and it was traced back to your home. Or you may have given a key to a friend, neighbour or ex partner.
Either way, The Association of British Insurers (ABI) say policies usually exclude theft by members of the family, and this could extend to an ex-partner or neighbour if a key has been given to them by you.
A number of other insurers also say a break-in or burglary of this type would be treated as an act of deception, rather than theft, and as such may not be covered under a home insurance policy. The ABI say that in the event that money is stolen there must be signs of forced entry.
If you are unlucky enough to be burgled by someone who has gained entry using a key, some insurers – including the Co-operative – will look at the case ‘favourably’ Their home insurance also covers the cost of replacing and installing locks: “Keeping keys safe is extremely important, if you lose or have your door key stolen, it can be tempting to simply get another cut and forget about the lost one.
“However there is always a chance that your key could be traced back to your address at a later date therefore it is extremely important to have your locks changed.”
The overall message then is to check your policy as the small print may differ from insurer to insurer – some might cover you, others won’t. But it’s worth bearing in mind when you give out any spare keys.