Six Important Tips to Stop Theft & Property Damage

Theft is a PROBLEM, and it may rob you of the ability to insure your investments.

Theft claims are affecting all of us, and your help is vital. Consistent thievery is threatening our industry’s ability to provide theft coverage. Every other day we receive a theft claim large enough to cause headaches for you and the insurance industry at large. If we do not act to protect this program, its coverage and rate stability, then we will all suffer a big headache. No one is immune from this problem. We highly recommend you take the following precautions to protect your properties immediately

The following security items can all be purchased at Home Depot. Secure your doors and windows:

1. Safe Door Systems Home Security Door & Frame Reinforcement Kit

  • Use 4” screws in all screw holes, both on the hinge side and the door side.
  • Very important for screws to be securely set into the stud on both sides of door.

2. Schlage Extra Long Dead Bold Lock

  • Extra long dead bolt lock helps prevent doors from being kicked or pried open.

3. Grisham Pp-Spag Window Guard

  • Use Window Guard on ground level windows not visible to neighbors and passers by.

4. Honeywell Econo Switch 7 Day Programmable Timer Switch

  • Appearance of occupancy deters thieves.

5. Board up Windows and doors on Vacant Properties

  • Use Star screws, or Torx bit screws to secure plywood to exterior doors and windows

6. Check on your properties at least once each week. Show people you are there.

I promised a stable program to each of you over the past eleven years – a stable program now and over the long term. It is galling to me that this shameful spike in theft imposes itself on your investment goals, our program, and future investment opportunities nationwide. Continued widespread theft claims have left me with only two choices to protect our mutual objectives for the long-term success of this program:

1. Increase costs to offset the increased exposure, or limit coverage for these occurrences.
2. The BEST solution - Immediately follow the six tips above, and do what is needed to protect your
properties from theft and avoid claims in the first place.

I trust in your abilities to better protect your locations from thieves, and there is a payoff to you for bringing theft under control. If our program produces a profitable result, then we can reduce costs. If we outperform other property owners in the marketplace, then we can provide you with lower costs than can be found elsewhere. If you help us, you help yourself, and you gain long-term coverage that others do not and will not have. No one can offer theft coverage without the same investments in loss reduction. Trust me, those who understand loss control will see profitable results for their premium contributions.

Insurance was designed to protect against tornadoes such as the one that hit Joplin, Missouri, and it should respond without delay. But this issue of constant theft is not what insurance was designed to protect. The trend is unmistakable. If your property is not well protected, you should expect to be victimized by theft. Forewarned is forearmed, as they say.

...and don't forget to turn off the water on a vacant property

Mike Wrenn
National Real Estate Insurance Group

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