House burglary and personal theft insurance claims have risen to a record £450 million - the highest in a decade, new figures show.
The statistics from the Association of British Insurers, published in the Telegraph ahead of full release, also reveal that in 2011, household burglary claims were up 5,000 on the previous year. This surge followed a previous drop in reported break-ins for three years in a row.
Further data from insurer Churchill reveals that jewellery, particularly gold, is a key target in burglaries and thefts, largely due to the massive increase in gold prices. According to the analysis, theft of gold and diamond jewellery now accounts for a third of the value of all burglary claims.
Householders are being urged to ensure they have adequate contents insurance and of course to make sure their home is as secure as possible.
Rural home insurance specialist NFU Mutual says it has seen the cost of jewellery claims rise by 50 per cent. Paul Richardson, from NFU Mutual, told the Telegraph, "If the contents of some jewellery boxes needed to be replaced, owners may be devastated to find their current insurance policy would only pay out a fraction of the cost of replacements. Sentimental items such as engagement rings and heirlooms are typically underinsured as many current owners have never had them valued."