Many insurance providers now ask about the locks fitted on your doors and windows. If you want to attract the cheapest quotes for home insurance, it’s a good idea to opt for the most robust locks on the market.
The four main types of lock are as follows:
The 5-lever mortice deadlock – also often referred to as a Chubb lock. It has the locking mechanism embedded into a slot in the door and is considered to offer moderate protection.
The 5-lever mortice deadlock conforming to BS 3621 is recognised as a superior product by insurers. It has additional security features such as hardened steel plates and anti-pick protection. If your doors are fitted with these you are likely to be offered a discount off your insurance premiums.
The rim-automatic deadlock with key locking handle allows you to lock your doors more securely from the inside, for example at night time. We’d recommend you use this lock as an additional security feature, rather than rely on it alone otherwise insurance companies may not provide you with a competitive quote.
The key-operated multi point locking system bolts the door into the frame and offers a higher level of security. It has a minimum of 3 locking points, with hook points, camrollers or pins that all lock at the same time, and is more commonly found in uPVC doors rather than entrance doors.
If you have French or patio doors, your insurer may also ask about the type of lock used. Burglars often enter at the point of weakest resistance, so whilst it’s important to install maximum security on your entrance door, it is equally important to check the level of security on back doors, patio doors and conservatory doors.
They will likely be fitted with key operated multi point locking systems or a top and bottom lock or a more robust central rail key-operated system. Sliding patio doors may also require anti-lift devices.
Additional security features such as chains and spy-holes are ideal for vulnerable homeowners, offering an additional level of security when unknown callers come to the door.
Remember too that all locks must be used to maintain the validity of your insurance. If locks have not been used properly, they are unlikely to pay out.
It’s worth noting that a robust door lock is only as strong as the door onto which it is fitted. Police advice states that doors and frames should be sound, of substantial construction and at least 44mm thick to support a mortice lock, and be hung on at least 3 hinges.
They extend their advice to include letterboxes too, which can be used by criminals to access goods left within close proximity, including keys to the property or to the property owner’s vehicle. They should be positioned more than 400mm away from the key hole, and preferably have an internal door plate, or letter basket to prevent items being extracted from the outside. Letter baskets should have an open bottom to allow mail to fall to the floor so that it cannot be retrieved from the outside.
For help and advice in choosing the correct doors and locks for you property, please talk to us, we’d be happy to help. By making a few changes, you may just save some money on your home insurance whilst enjoying the security of a well-protected home at the same time.