General Insurance Article - Christmas travel plans spotlights home safety for insurers

Christmas travel is set to increase this year as more people make UK trips to visit family and friends highlighting the potential risk for home insurers, new research from Consumer Intelligence shows.

 Its nationwide study found nearly one in five adults (18%) plan day trips to visit family and friends over Christmas while 11% will stay overnight in the UK. That compares with just 13% who visited family and friends last year and only 6% who stayed overnight.

 Younger adults are most likely to be travelling over the festive period with 26% of 18 to 34-year-olds planning trips away compared to just 17% of 35 to 54-year-olds are only 15% of over-55s.

 Consumer Intelligence is warning that the rise in Christmas travel could mean opportunities for criminals with more homes left empty and advises insurers to remind customers of the need to set alarms, check window locks and upgrade security systems.

 Government data shows robbery and theft offences dropped 21% in the year ending June 2021 mainly due to the impact of lockdowns and people being at home more but could be set to rise, Consumer Intelligence says.

 Its research shows people generally are being careful at Christmas with 31% planning a cautious festive season in the light of potential COVID restrictions while 14% say they are not planning ahead because of potential changes to COVID rules.

 Karen Houseago, Head of Insurance, Consumer Intelligence says: “Insurers should take note that it’s younger customers who might need reminding about home safety ahead of the festive season and a rise in travelling and overnight stays.

 “The fall in robbery and theft offences has been largely driven by lockdowns but with a more normal Christmas on the way we may be heading for the traditional festive increase in thefts and burglaries.”

 The value of Christmas presents in homes is likely to be higher – Consumer Intelligence research found 22% of people are spending more on presents this year. And many people have already stocked up for the festive season with 37% saying they have bought early.

 Most admit to doing so because they like being organised but nearly a quarter are worried about shops running out and 14% are concerned about shipping delays.

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