News Release


Managing Your Risk of Exposure to Burglaries

East London, March 2016 - Aon South Africa has noticed a marked increase in residential robberies in the last year. According to the latest SAPS crime stats, robbery with aggravating circumstances increased by 8.5% to 129 045 reported incidences for the 2014/2015 period in South Africa; while robbery with aggravating circumstances increased by 10.9% from 440 to 488 reported incidences in the East London precinct, alone.

"The current modus operandi appears to be the ‘cloaking' method where a burglar covers themselves with easily obtainable items such as throw rugs or duvets which mean that an alarm system's normal heat sensor will not pick up the robber's body heat," says Jenny De Vries of insurance brokerage and risk advisors, Aon South Africa in East London. "The focus seems to be on residences where the owners are not home, making away with jewellery, cash and firearms. In addition, burglars are gaining access to the premises through bathroom windows where there are no alarm sensors," Jenny adds.

In the fight against crime, vigilance remains any homeowner's first port of call when it comes to managing their risk of exposure to robberies. Jenny offers some practical tips:

  • Ensure that your alarm is activated at all times when you leave your premises and ensure that your alarm is always in good working order.
  • Make sure that your alarm system is up to date, technology changes all the time.
  • Keep any shrubs trimmed and have sufficient lighting on your gate and down the driveway
  • Have your remote handy and stay on the road, don't wait in the driveway while the gate opens
  • If you arrive home and any of the doors and/or gates are open – leave the premises
  • Don't leave ladders and tools lying around your home
  • Keep your valuables in a locked safe bolted to the wall
  • Refrain from keeping large sums of money at home
  • Make sure your home has burglar bars, security gates, electric fences and outside beams
  • Exchange contact details with your immediate neighbours for assistance in the event of an emergency
  • Educate your domestic worker
  • Don't let anyone in that you don't know

Whilst insurance is generally known to be a grudge purchase, it is imperative that your sums insured are reviewed annually, especially with the impact of the falling Rand that has a profound effect on the cost of replacing equipment, parts and items bought overseas.

"If you are under-insured in the event of a serious loss, you may, however, find yourself in a situation where you are paid partially for a loss at claims stage. Insurers call it the ‘average formula' which means that if your property is under-insured by 40%, for example, then you may only be paid 60% of your claim, regardless of whether it is a partial or total loss," explains Jenny.

The services of a professional broker could well prove to be invaluable in evaluating your exposure to a burglary. "A professional broker will be able to facilitate the making of a well-managed insurance programme that accounts for your unique needs and risk profile while matching your available budget. Your broker will also be able to confirm the security requirements that are listed in your insurance policy, how often valuable jewellery should be valuated and will advise you on how regularly you should update the inventory of your home. A broker can ensure that you are in good hands in the event of a claim and that there are no surprises waiting for you," concludes Jenny.

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Tom Hatcher 7 Jun 2014 14:58 Comments Policy
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