Don't get a fright on Halloween night

Halloween's a night for trick and treat, apple bobbing and dressing up as a witch, a ghost or a zombie. But it's also a night when it's wise to take your home security more seriously.

Figures from Aviva show that malicious damage claims soar by 160% at Halloween1. The single biggest cause of damage to homes is trick-or-treaters throwing eggs and flour2, but people also report more costly examples such as damage to hedges and gardens and the theft of items from outside their home.

Cars can also be a target, with flour and eggs a real nuisance to remove. Sometimes it goes beyond damage, with the insurer seeing an increase in stolen vehicles. Its figures show that claims for motor thefts increase by 28% on Halloween1. While you'll be covered by your insurance if you do suffer any damage to your home or your car's stolen, it's better to avoid being a victim of crime in the first place.

The following tips will help to make the following tips will help to make Halloween more enjoyable:

  • If you're going out, leave a radio or lights on to give the impression that people are at home.
  • Don't answer the door to trick-or-treaters if you don't want to.
  • Make sure sheds, garages and other out-buildings have robust locks.
  • Move any garden ornaments and potted plants inside the house or out of sight.
  • If you have a garage, put the car away for the night.

It's not over once the trick-or-treaters have departed, as a few days later, Bonfire Night brings out another type of unwanted visitor - burglars. The dark nights, loud bangs and empty homes prove to be particularly attractive cover for the criminals, with household theft claims increasing by 21% on Bonfire Night1, making it one of the worst nights of the year for burglaries.

Again though, a few simple steps can help you keep the thieves at bay:

  • Double check windows and doors before you leave the house.
  • Use a timer-switch to turn on lights in the evening so your home looks occupied.
  • Lock away any ladders, bins and garden ornaments. An opportunist burglar might use these to gain access to your home.
  • If you have a garage, put away your car and bikes.
  • If you're going away, don't advertise that your home will be empty on social media as you never know who might be following you.

Whether you find yourself the victim of ‘trick or treaters’ or the Bonfire Night burglars, having home insurance can give you the reassurance that, whatever happens, your home can be restored to the way it was quickly and easily.