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Am I insured…?

Are you insured?
Did you know that if you don’t have the correct locks on your windows and doors you are not insured? Even if you get broken into via a window which has a lock or if you don’t have the correct lock on your front door your not insured. Also if you didn’t change the locks on the front and sometimes back doors when you moved in this is considered not being a responsible homeowner, you can check this by simply phoning your insurance company and asking them. If you have had a set of keys go missing and you are burgled with no sign of forced entry your insurance claim will be turned down. Insurance companies will always try and get out of paying you and there are many ways for them to do it.

Our biggest gripe with insurance companies is the documents they send out to for you to sign, they are written in a way which they and we as locksmiths understand (because we are in the trade and need to know) but the everyday person doesn’t. So if you tick a box or sign away without fully knowing what it is they are asking you, your insurance company will have a perfect way of getting out of paying out after a break in.

Different insurance companies ask for different security measures but here are the general guide lines, but you should always check with them to confirm you have the correct locks on all windows and doors.

What they mean and what you need to have to be insured.

To check the make, model, how many levers and for the British Standard kitemark on your mortice lock you will need to open the door and look at the small edge of the door where the lock is cut into the door, there on the faceplate should be the information you need. You may need to scrape away some paint or use a torch to see it, but that is where the information for the lock is stamped. The British Standard kitemark is shaped like a heart with a B and an S in it.

Wooden front door
When they say a final exit door they mean your front door to your house or flat, not the communal door, the last door you leave before your either outside or in communal parts. This door needs to have a 5 lever British Standard mortice deadlock conforming to BS3621, which has to be locked when the property is empty. People call this a Chubb lock but Chubb is a brand name. It has become a common term for a deadlock as it’s one of the most common and popular as it’s been around for years, sadly this is Chubb’s final year but that’s another story.

Multi point locking front door
This type of door is the one where you have to lift the handles up and turn a key in a cylinder to lock. When you lift the handles the lock throws or lifts roller bolts, cams, deadbolts or hookbolts and when your turn the key in the cylinder to lock the handles don’t come down. This is a multi point locking system basically it locks in more than one place.

Wooden back door
Again different insurance companies ask for different things so double check with them but generally you will need
For single wooden back doors
A mortice lock in the middle of the door and 2 key operated bolts one top and one bottom.
Or
A 5 lever British Standard mortice deadlock
Or
A 5 lever British Standard mortice deadlock and 2 key operated bolts one top and one bottom.

Multi point locking back door
This type of door is the one where you have to lift the handles up and turn a key in a cylinder to lock.

Double wooden back doors (French windows)
Again different insurance companies ask for different things so double check with them but generally you will need
A mortice lock in the middle of the door and two key operated bolts one top and one bottom on the door you open first sometimes called the first opening leaf.
Or
A 5 lever British Standard mortice deadlock and two key operated bolts one top and one bottom on the door you open first sometimes called the first opening leaf.
Or
A 5 lever British Standard mortice deadlock and four key operated bolts one top and one bottom on each door.

Windows
Wooden casement and fanlight windows.
These are hinged on the left or the right opening outwards (casement) or at the top opening outwards (fanlight).
What insurance companies commonly ask for, but this does differ depending on many things including where you live, is all ground floor windows and any upper floor windows which are accessible via a flat roof, cast iron drainpipe, a wall or tree, basically any other windows where somebody can stand and attack a window needs to have a key operated lock. Very important a lock is classified as something you need a key to open it so stay arms and handles are not locks if you don’t need a key to open them. We tend to fit two window locks on larger windows as this gives you much more security but you only need one lock unless specified by your insurance company.

Sash windows
These are lovely windows but notoriously easy to get into again a lock is classified as something you need a key to open it so the sash stay in the middle of the window isn’t a lock unless you need a key to open it. We tend to fit a pair of locks on these windows as you need to protect both corners from attack.

PVCU windows
If your PVCU window has a handle with a key hole in the middle of it then that is considered a lock.

Remember you need to have all windows and doors shut and locked when the house is empty otherwise you won’t be covered.

Please use this as a guide always check with your insurance company, if you don’t understand what it is they are asking you can always call a locksmith out to survey your home to meet insurance requirements, we do this for free so check with the locksmiths first. We would also recommend you use a locksmith who is a member of The Master Locksmiths Association. If you don’t understand the paper work that you have you could always phone your insurance company when you are at home and get them to talk you through everything they require step by step.

1 Comment

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