Summer should be an easy, breezy season free from troubles. Yet the rate of break-ins spikes during the warm months, according to both FBI statistics and Nationwide Claims data.
A recent Nationwide Insurance* survey reveals that nearly eight in 10 homeowners use at least one common theft-prevention measure (e.g. alarm system, deadbolt), but three in 10 do not use any, potentially putting their loved ones and belongings at unnecessary risk.
“At Nationwide, we’re committed to protecting our members and what is most important to them,” explains Pete Lore, associate vice president of property technical claims at Nationwide. “When you’re part of the Nation, peace of mind comes with every service we provide.”
Learn the facts about burglary and ways you can help you minimize your risk and protect your personal property.
FACT: According to the FBI, crime rises between 6% and 16% in June, July and August.
Summer is an especially opportune time for burglars. Many homeowners take vacations, leaving their houses unoccupied and vulnerable to break-ins. And when people are at home, they often keep windows and doors open to catch a cool summer breeze, sometimes forgetting to lock up when they go out or go to sleep.
Take extra precautions during the summer. When you go on vacation, ask trusted friends or neighbors to check on your home each day and make it look like someone is home. Ask them to bring in the newspaper and move the trash cans to a different position. Thieves rely on darkness to keep them hidden from view; install motion-detecting lights to deter them. Don’t announce your vacation on social media. Keep windows and doors locked when you’re not at home.
“Preventive measures only work if you use them,” says Lore. “We want to ensure homeowners recognize the importance of taking those few extra steps to keep themselves, their families and their belongings safe.”
FACT: The National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association (NBFAA) estimates that one-third of the time, burglars enter homes through the front door.
There has been a dramatic rise in thefts over the last 40 years. Still, 39 percent of homeowners admit to leaving their doors unlocked about the same amount or more often as their parents did when they were growing up.
According to the NBFAA, almost a third of thieves don’t force their way into a home—they simply let themselves in through the front door. Yet, just 15 percent of homeowners in Nationwide’s survey correctly believe it’s the most common entry point.
Always lock your windows and doors when you leave the home—even if you’re running a quick errand or going out for a walk. Locking up is one of the simplest ways to prevent break-ins.
FACT: Homes without alarm systems are three times more likely to be burglarized, says the NBFAA.
Alarm systems can be a worthwhile investment, yet 20 percent of surveyed homeowners with an alarm system don’t activate it during the day, even though that’s when most thefts occur. It’s critical to activate the alarm system every time you leave home.
Nationwide is so invested in our members’ safety that we offer a discount on homeowners insurance in some states if your home has a protective device.
FACT: There is a burglary every 14.6 seconds, according to the FBI.
Break-ins and burglaries are common, but Nationwide is there to help protect your home. “The items in a home are what make it a home,” explains Lore. “That’s why we offer our members Brand New Belongings® coverage. If you have this coverage and a theft occurs, we’ll reimburse the member the full cost to repair or replace the covered personal property with new or articles similar to those stolen or destroyed. That’s the benefit to being part of the Nation.”
Nationwide Insurance Survey conducted by Harris Interactive
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI)
National Burglar & Fire Alarm Association
The survey was conducted online by Harris Interactive on behalf of Nationwide Insurance from May 21 to May 29, 2013. Respondents were comprised of 1,005 U.S. adults aged 18+ who have a homeowners insurance policy or a condo insurance policy with any insurance company. Results are weighted to the U.S. General Population adults ages 18+ in terms of age, sex, race/ethnicity, education, region and household income. Propensity score weighting was also used to adjust for consumers’ propensity to be online. Research participants were drawn from the Harris Poll Online (HPOL) research panel. Because the sample is based on those who were invited to participate in the HPOL panel, we cannot calculate estimates of theoretical sampling error.