The Scandal of the Insurance Scam

Just last month we helped out a young couple who live close to our West Yorkshire headquarters after they’d lost a host of treasured possessions following a locksnapping attack on their home, writes Raymond Pearce of Avocet Hardware.

Having read their story in the local newspaper, we got in touch with Mark Davies and Ruth Harrison, who incidentally had had Ruth’s car – a Mini Cooper that matched her hair colour – stolen from their drive as part of the attack, and offered to upgrade their locks to our ABS snap secure solution free of charge.

At the time, Mark politely declined on the basis that his insurance company had agreed to replace the locks, but sadly all was not as it seemed. The insurance company stating that it would only replace the snapped locks with like-for-like replacements – meaning his and Ruth’s home would be left as at risk as it was before the burglary.

Unfortunately, this is the case with the vast majority of insurance companies; a situation that plays directly into the hands of burglars, who know that homes they’ve entered by locksnapping are more than likely to be left as vulnerable after the break-in as they were before.

And when you consider the prevalence of lock-snapping as a means of forced entry – with some Police forces
unofficially stating that well over half of all burglaries can now be attributed to it – it seems, at best, remiss, at worse negligent, of the insurance industry not to be offering their customers a safer alternative; especially when the effectiveness of some snap-secure locks are proven beyond any reasonable doubt.

Take for example our TS007 3-star rated and Sold Secured Diamond accredited ABS snapsecure locks. During 2012 West Yorkshire Police fitted 10,000 of our locks in homes across East Leeds – an area of the city where burglary has traditionally been very high. This widespread programme was carried out in conjunction with a number of other crime reduction strategies and the end result was truly astonishing – a 36 per cent reduction in burglaries in the area in just one year.

This figure equated to 3,200 fewer victims of crime. And remember, that reduction took place in just one area of one city over one 12-month period. So just imagine what a UK-wide programme supported by the insurance industry could achieve.

Not only would the number of victims of crime be slashed, but insurance pay-outs would subsequently drop and premiums could potentially be reduced. All of which seems to be positive for everyone involved.

Of course, encouraging the insurance industry to change its practice after a lock-snapping attack is all well and good, but to me prevention seems a far better answer than cure. And so I’d call on the insurance industry to help the UK public to take a major step in preventing lock-snapping burglary by offering premium discounts to homes with the right level of snap-secure locks fitted on their doors.

Burglary is perhaps the most invasive of crimes, leaving victims like Mark Davies and Ruth Harrison not only shaken by the intrusion into their homes and their lives, but out of pocket and without possessions they truly treasured. Therefore, let’s fight back and stop the burglars in their tracks. And if that means the insurance industry rewarding those who protect themselves, then why not? It’s far better than continually rewarding those who break the law and cause so much heartache by acknowledging homes are easy to break into, but doing nothing about it.”

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