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Malcolm Tarling of the Association of British Insurers said: 'What is important is that people understand their responsibilities as a policyholder.'

We get a lot of phone calls Regarding home Insurance requirement my best advice is to read your policy it will tell you what security you need, if these requirements are not met your insurance may be 'null and void' which mean they do not have to pay out if you make a claim.

An article from the Evening standard.

Cilla Black £1m insurance blow. 

CILLA BLACK'S £1m insurance claim for jewellery stolen in a violent raid on her home has been turned down, it was revealed today.

Her insurers have refused to pay because there were no locks on the downstairs windows, making her policy 'null and void'.

Three masked burglars entered the £2m house in Denham, Buckinghamshire, through a window. They beat Ms Black's youngest son Jack, 22, with a crowbar, held a knife to his throat and threatened to kill him, forcing him to reveal where the safe was.

The men took Ms Black's entire jewellery collection, including a diamond pendant worth tens of thousands of pounds and sentimental gifts from her husband Bobby, who died of cancer in 1999. Her mother's engagement and wedding rings were also lost.

A source told The Sun: 'Cilla has been told she won't receive a penny. She did have household insurance but the claim has been rejected.

'The problem is locks were not fitted to her downstairs windows as Cilla had stipulated.'

A source from the insurance industry said the policy would state that downstairs windows must have locks - and be locked at all times. 'It will also state there must be an alarm system, which must be on at all times, when the premises are left vacant.

'There is no room for leniency or manoeuvre on these types of policies where the contents run intoms of pounds.'

Security is tight at the house, with wrought-iron gates, and 7ft-high fences behind thick hedges. There are also motion-sensitive lights and closed-circuit television cameras.

Ms Black, 60, has taken a year off from TV presenting to recover from the shock of the burglary on 16 August. She had been on holiday in Spain and was called by Jack to tell her they had been robbed. During the raid the men said they would kidnap Jack and hold him to ransom but he talked them out of the plan.

They escaped after chaining him to a radiator. Ms Black said at the time: 'Obviously the jewellery does not compare with what Jack has had to endure. Losing my entire collection of all the gifts Bobby gave me and my mam's wedding and engagement rings is heartbreaking. Their sentimental value far outweighs their material worth.

'Now I've lost everything I will not be replacing them. You can't replace sentimental value.'

The Denham home has a putting green, tennis court and indoor swimming pool. Ms Black also owns a £1.5m Thames-side penthouse in London and a £400,000 apartment in Barbados.

Securing your home

INSURERS normally require homeowners to:

  • Fit five-lever mortice deadlocks to front and back doors
  • Have locks fitted on every ground floor window
  • Install burglar alarms and ensure they are serviced regularly
  • If alarms are fitted or if the policyholder installs locks above a certain standard required, some insurance companies will offer policyholders discounts ranging from between five and 10%.
  • CCTV may be a requirement. Malcolm Tarling of the Association of British Insurers said: 'What is important is that people understand their responsibilities as a policyholder.'

Every insurance policy I have dealt with insists on the following:

British standard Dead lock on every final exit door.

Exception to this are PVC doors which must have 3 locking points.

Key operated window locks on all down stairs windows, windows upstairs with a roof under the window.

We offer free advice please contact us if you are unsure.

0800 1588 247

Ive added some security advice here by the Association of British Insurers.

Home security

Insurance industry advice on home security

This advice has been prepared by the Association of British Insurers (ABI) and the Home Office to help customers make sure that they do all they can to prevent their homes from being burgled, protect their property and get the best deal possible from the insurance market.

Did you know?

  • 36% of all burglaries are crimes of opportunity, where burglars let themselves in through unlocked doors or windows.
  • You are ten times more likely to be burgled if you don’t have basic security - even something as simple as putting strong locks on your doors and windows will keep your house much safer.
  • Burglary has fallen by nearly 60% since 1995, but criminals are opportunists who will take advantage of any chance to steal from you, so you should remain alert.

Make sure you’re covered!

Saving money by not taking out home insurance is a false economy. It’s a sad fact that almost half of all burglary victims are uninsured. Without insurance you will have to find the money to replace what is stolen or damaged. Insurance will cover possessions stolen from your home and your insurer will cover the cost of replacements at a time when you most need help.

Insurers can also provide advice on home security. They recommend that locks and alarms are fitted in customers’ homes and that these should meet certain standards. In high-risk areas they will insist that customers fit good quality door and window locks and burglar alarms.

Insurers often use information on how secure a property is when they are deciding whether to offer cover, on what terms and conditions, and what premium to charge. Improving the security on your home can help make sure you get the best possible deal from the insurance market when you buy or renew your cover.

Good security measures complement your insurance cover by giving you peace of mind, knowing your home is well protected. However, some things are irreplaceable. Your engagement or wedding ring, special jewellery or family photographs for example have sentimental value which cannot be measured. It is therefore important to do all you can to prevent being burgled in the first place.

The Home Office has prepared some common sense top tips to prevent you from becoming a victim of burglary.

These are:

  1. Fit strong locks to external doors and windows, and make sure they are locked at all times
  2. Always remove all keys from inside locks, and keep them out of sight and in a safe place
  3. Fit sturdy deadlocks (British Standard BS3621) to all doors
  4. Make sure your doors and frames are strong and in good condition - wood doors should be at least 44mm thick
  5. Mark your property - having it marked helps police verify it's been stolen
  6. Fit a door chain or bar and door viewer (spy-hole), and use them.
  7. Never leave a spare key in a convenient hiding place such as under the doormat, in a flowerpot or behind a loose brick - thieves know to look there first
  8. When you are out in the evening, leave your lights on and shut the curtains
  9. Install outside security lighting; if other people can see your property a burglar may think twice
  10. Keep your tools and ladders securely locked up – a burglar could use them to get into your house.

The Home Office also publishes A guide to Home Security which 

provides useful advice on how to make your home more secure. This can be downloaded at:  

(Opens in new window - 0.1 Mb PDF)

The Home Office also has an online home security self-assessment 

questionnaire which will help you indentify how secure your home is:

There are many ways you can reduce the risk of an intruder breaking 

into your home. Below are some ideas as to how you can protect your 

property from a potential intruder.

Outside your home

  1. Fences/Gates
  2. Outside Lighting
    • triggered by movement sensors-lights automatically come on when the sensor is triggered (e.g. by someone approaching the house) during the hours of darkness
    • triggered by light sensors-lights automatically come on at dusk and stay on until dawn.
  3. Intruder alarms
When your home is not occupied
Making it appear that someone is in your property if you are out will deter burglars.
  • During the hours of darkness, leave lights or lamps on in rooms other than the hall, including back room.
  • Use a plug-in timer which will automatically turn a lamp on and off as programmed or a sensor which will trigger the light to come on when the room gets dark.
  • When you are away for an extended period (e.g. on holiday):
  • if you can, arrange for somebody to open and close your curtains and ask them to push through any mail or newspapers which may be sticking out of the letterbox
  • do not forget to cancel newspaper and milk deliveries
  • arrange for any outside bins to be emptied.

What security devices are needed?

In certain areas of the country, the risk of theft and vandalism is unfortunately higher. Customers in these areas are likely to be asked by their insurer to meet minimum security standards such as those set out below, and to use the locks, bolts and other security devices in order to minimise the risk of theft and vandalism. Your insurer will let you know if these minimum standards apply to you but even if your insurer doesn’t require these steps they would certainly recommend them. The insurance market is competitive and each insurer might impose slightly different minimum standards but most will include similar requirements to these:

  • external doors: a lock which can be locked by a key from both the inside and the outside on external doors and a mortice deadlock with 5 levers or more, or a surface mounted rim deadlock, a key operated multi-point locking system which will secure the external door at the top and bottom of the door as well as at the centre
  • patio and sliding patio doors and exit doors should be fitted with good quality locks and security bolts and an anti lift device
  • at least one key operated locking device, for example a padlock on the garden shed
  • window locks on ground floor opening windows.

Y our insurer will be able to advise you about the security features that they recommend or require.

If your insurer has required you to introduce minimum security standards as a condition of them insuring you, they may not provide any cover for theft or attempted theft and/or vandalism at your home, unless the appropriate security devices are properly fitted and used.

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