May 23, 2010 19:00 ET

Hot Spell Could Invalidate Millions of UK Home Insurance Policies

MANCHESTER, UNITED KINGDOM--(Marketwire - May 23, 2010) - Millions of homeowners across the UK could invalidate their home insurance in the next two weeks, by leaving windows open while out during the predicted hot spell, warns leading high street insurance retailer, Swinton.

With temperatures predicted to reach as high as 26ºC – about 10 degrees above the average for this time of year - in parts of the UK this week and next, millions of homeowners will offer an open invitation to opportunistic thieves by leaving windows and doors wide open.

A survey of 1,200 Swinton customers revealed 77% were unaware that leaving windows open when out of the house could invalidate their home insurance policy. A further 69% admitted to regularly leaving windows open while out during hot weather.

Swinton is also advising homeowners to ensure garden furniture and BBQ units are covered within their contents insurance policies as forecasters predict the first decent 'barbecue summer' in three years with temperatures regularly reaching above 28 degrees.

Steve Chelton, insurer development manager at Swinton said: "Most burglars break into people's homes on the spur of the moment via unlocked doors and windows – meaning they can be in and out in seconds.

"It's vital to ensure windows and doors are locked before leaving the house as failure to do so can invalidate home insurance, which could leave people severely out of pocket if burgled."

 Swinton's top five tips to avoid warm weather theft:

1. Make sure windows and doors are not left open when unattended

2. Check that valuables are not left on show near open doors and windows

3. Ensure there are locks on doors and all windows and a visible alarm is fitted

4. Make arrangements for family to check on a home while on holiday, switching on lights and parking in the driveway

5. Check all doors, windows, sheds and garages are locked before leaving on holiday

About Swinton

  • With 580 branches nationwide Swinton is the UK's largest high street insurance retailer
  • Unlike many other companies in the financial services industry, Swinton is committed to keeping its branches open for business, and part of the community
  • Swinton provides a one-stop-shop for the insurance and related needs of its clients, offering home, car, caravan, business, holiday, motorbike and even classic car insurance
  • With a dedicated team of advisors on hand at every branch to search a panel of insurers to offer quality cover at competitive rates.

Contact Information