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Know Your Locks or Invalidate Your Insurance

by Sarah Halloran

If you’re confused about your household locks then it could invalidate your insurance if you give your insurer the wrong information.  It’s important when moving into a new home or renewing your insurance that you give your insurer valid and accurate information and that means knowing the locks on your external doors.

So, can you tell the difference between a multi-locking system and a mortice deadlock?  If your insurer were to ask what front door lock you have, could you answer them correctly?  Many people often take a wild guess when it comes to these questions and this could prove catastrophic if you ever need to make a claim.  Many homeowners don’t realise just how important it is to furnish insurers with the right information.

Insurers need to know how well your home is protected so they can work out the most suitable cover for you.  That doesn’t mean you have to learn all there is to know about locks or turn your home into Fort Knox, but it does mean your insurer will be more likely to pay out if they are happy that your home was adequately secured at the time of a burglary.

The Metropolitan Police security guidelines advise that: “The door should be fitted preferably with a five-lever mortice deadlock, though insurance companies will accept a rim automatic deadlock; both must be to British Standard 3621.”

If you’re having trouble telling your mortice deadlocks from your key-operated multi-locking system you’re not alone!  Many insurance companies are now helping customers by including images of the most popular types of locks on their website.  These illustrations are available during the quote process and give you a good indication of the lock you have and whether it is at an acceptable level of security for the insurer to consider your application.

Head of home insurance at Confused.com, Mark Gabriel, says: “People often don’t realise how important it is to know their lock type, in fact a lot of people guess and get it wrong.

“But it’s so important to get right. Some are more secure than others, so if you’ve given your insurance provider the wrong information you might be underinsured, which could invalidate your policy. “It’s a detail many people overlook so this new picture system just clears up any confusion.”

As well as locks, the Met security guidelines go further, saying: “Quality locks are only as strong as the doors and frames to which they are attached. Ensure that the frame is sound and the door suitable for external use; for instance, a wooden hollow core door would not be suitable.”

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