Thieves are taking advantage as people get out and about more, with theft claims having jumped recently, according to an insurance giant.
Aviva is warning people to be on their guard as lockdown measures ease, after recording a 44% increase in theft claims in June which did not involve breaking into a property, compared with April.
June was the sixth month in a row during which Aviva recorded an increase in these types of claims.
Items commonly taken include phones, bags, laptops and bicycles, although Aviva also received claims for watches, sunglasses and clothing.
In one case, a customer reported items being stolen from their tent while they were sleeping inside.
We've all been looking forward to being able to venture out and visit venues and locations that have been off-limits for months. Unfortunately however, it seems thieves have been excited about this prospect tooDave Lovely, Aviva
There have also been incidents reported where items – often phones, bags and wallets – were taken directly out of people’s hands in the street.
Dave Lovely, global claims director at Aviva General Insurance, said: “We’ve all been looking forward to being able to venture out and visit venues and locations that have been off-limits for months.
“Unfortunately however, it seems thieves have been excited about this prospect too – and now they’re taking advantage of people and their belongings being accessible again.”
Here are Aviva’s tips to avoid thefts:
– If you are heading out, consider exactly what you need to take with you. Only take out what you really need and limit the amount of cash you carry.
– Use a bag with fasteners. You are much more likely to notice if a thief attempts to get to your valuables.
– Do not leave items unattended and make sure a trusted person is watching your belongings at all times.
– Use an old phone. If you have an old mobile you can take out for the day, this may be a good way to keep in touch, without putting your latest smartphone model at risk.
– Bicycles have become hot property during the coronavirus pandemic, so always use a robust lock when leaving yours unattended.
– Wear a bag that crosses your body so it cannot be easily snatched.
– Also take care when using your phone in public places, in case would-be thieves are watching.
– Professional thieves may try to distract you by engaging you in conversation while the thief – or an accomplice – makes off with your possessions.
– Many insurers offer cover for items away from the home, but, depending on your needs, you may want to choose an add-on to your home insurance, such as personal belongings cover. Check what is covered under your policy.