Research

Aviva Ireland: 1 in 5 homeowners have experienced a security breach

Woman stressed with head in hands
  • 80% of people take added precautions to protect their home from intruders
  • 36% believe their home might be underinsured

As many as 1 in 5 (19%) homeowners have experienced some form of security breach in or around their homes since the outbreak of COVID-19, according to new research from Aviva Insurance Ireland, one of Ireland’s leading insurers. 

The types of incidents reported nationwide ranged from suspicious strangers lurking around homes, residents feeling intimated by people nearby, cars stolen or damaged, to actual home break-ins. 

The research carried out by iReach Insights on behalf of Aviva Ireland, on 1,200 adults throughout the country, revealed that homeowners have been actively taking measures to reinforce the security in their homes. The top five security measures as chosen by homeowners include: 

  1. The addition of window locks (48%)
  2. The installation of a house or smart home alarm (47%) 
  3. Security bolts on external doors (25%)
  4. Having a dog in the house for security (22%)
  5. Security cameras (20%)

Commenting on the research findings, Billy Shannon, Aviva Insurance Ireland said: “It’s always concerning to hear that anyone has had their personal living space invaded to any extent. But what’s really encouraging from this survey is that people are taking measures to protect themselves, their family, and their property. From structural protections such as window locks to more frivolous additions such as “beware of the dog” signs erected by residents who don’t even own a dog, it appears that people are not complacent when it comes to home security – with 80% reporting to have taken one or more security measures”.

People are taking measures to protect themselves, their family, and their property.
Billy Shannon, Aviva Insurance Ireland

The Aviva survey also sought to gain insight into people’s overall knowledge around their home insurance policy and ultimately what they are covered for.

Billy Shannon continued, “Most homeowners said they are confident that they are fully insured for rebuilding and contents costs, but there were still 36% who believe they could be underinsured. That’s a sizeable portion of people when you consider the hundreds of thousands of homeowners in the country – many of whom could be leaving themselves significantly financially exposed in the event of damage or loss to the property”.

When probed on which valuables respondents have itemised on their home insurance policy, the top five items were:

  1. Engagement rings and other jewellery (33%) 
  2. Electronics such as computers, smartphones etc at 23%
  3. Bicycles (12%)
  4. Watches and clock (8%)
  5. Artworks / antique furniture (6%)

“It is really important for homeowners to check with their insurer or broker to understand if they have sufficient cover for their needs.  Both under and over insuring can be common mistakes by policyholders. Homeowners should also satisfy themselves that the sum insured is adequate to reflect the rebuilding cost of their home, taking into account fees and site clearing costs. The Society of Chartered Surveyors Ireland provides an online calculator which should help homeowners in determining this value.

“It’s also important to let your insurer know if you have added certain security features to your home such as burglar alarms and door locks.  With regards to contents cover, we recommend doing a room-by-room inventory to ensure the sums insured are adequate. Homeowners should also arrange extra cover where necessary for high value items or items such as jewellery, which are worn outside of the house regularly where ‘all-risks’ cover may be required”, concluded Billy Shannon.

-ENDS-

Media enquiries

Anne Mathews, Communications & PR Manager
anne.mathews@aviva.com 
087 246 0358.

The research was carried out by iReach Insights Limited and was part of a nationwide study conducted as part of the iReach Consumer Decisions Omnibus Survey with 1,200 respondents, 777 of whom were homeowners.  The fieldwork was undertaken at the end of April 2021.

Notes to editors:

  • For information on how Aviva is helping our people, customers and communities impacted by COVID-19 visit: www.aviva.com/covid-19-our-response/
  • We exist to be with people when it really matters, throughout their lives. We have been taking care of people for more than 320 years, in line with our purpose of being ‘with you today, for a better tomorrow’. In 2020, we paid £30.6 billion in claims and benefits to our customers.
  • Aviva is invested in our people, our customers, our communities and our planet. In 2021, we announced our plan to become a Net Zero carbon emissions company by 2040, the first major insurance company in the world to do so. This plan means Net Zero carbon emissions from our investments by 2040; setting out a clear pathway to get there with a cut of 25% in the carbon intensity of our investments by 2025 and of 60% by 2030; and Net Zero carbon emissions from our own operations and supply chain by 2030. Aviva has been leading this agenda for decades: Aviva was the first international insurer to go operationally carbon neutral in 2006 and we are champions of renewable energy and energy storage at our offices, allowing us to achieve our 2030 carbon reduction target (70% reduction on 2010 levels) 10 years early. Find out more about our climate goals at www.aviva.com/climate-goals and our sustainability ambition at www.aviva.com/sustainability.
  • Aviva is a Living Wage and Living Hours employer and provides market-leading benefits for our people, including flexible working, paid carers leave and equal parental leave. Find out more at www.aviva.com/social-purpose
  • We are focused on the UK, Ireland and Canada where we have leading market positions and significant potential. We will invest for growth in these markets. We will also transform our performance and improve our efficiency. Our transformation will be underpinned by managing our balance sheet prudently, reducing debt and increasing our financial resilience. We also have strategic investments in Singapore, China and India.
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