You see people these days talking on their top-of-the-range mobile phones or listening to their costly MP3 players everywhere. So it can come as no surprise that latest police statistics reveal that the number of street muggings and robberies increased by 8% last year.
Statistics from the British Crime Survey of 45,000 people shows that the number of gunpoint robberies jumped by 10% for 2005. Perhaps the most startling result from the research is that robberies alone have rocketed by 22% to 311,000. This is the highest level in four years. You have a situation where property is being stolen more in public places, but less from homes, according to the numbers, which says the rate of household burglaries dropped by 7%.
So is the number of people carrying mobile phones really to blame for the rise in robberies and muggings? Home Secretary John Reid thinks so.
He has been reported in the media as saying that the rise in this sort of crime has been driven by the number of young people carrying expensive goods like mobile phones and MP3 players with them.
Most mobile phone companies are quite insistent with customers of the benefits of taking out insurance should their phone get stolen. But what many people do not realise is that these policies only usually cover phone theft, rather than the loss of your property. And you often do not actually need this insurance anyway because your property might already be covered for these sort of street thefts through your home contents insurance.
Association of British Insurers spokesperson Kelly Ostler says many home contents policies offer an All Risks Extension. An All Risks Extension is the technical term for cover of property taken outside the house.
“You have to check your household contents insurance has got it,” she says.
Ostler reminds people, however, that insurance or no insurance, people also need to take simple precautions with their property when they take it outside the home. “We tell people to take care and use your common sense when you are going out – not to leave your mobile phone or your Mp3 player on the table or a bar.”
You have to pay extra for ‘All-risks’ cover, but it means your property will not only be covered for theft, but accidental damage and loss. And you need to check and compare the price to make sure it is worth your while. Insurance company Endsleigh offers home contents insurance with an All Risks Extension for an annual home and contents policy for almost £280. This covers up to £1000 worth of property taken outside your home.
Norwich Union UK offers an annual cover for a minimum of £15,000 worth of property with an All Risks
Extension for £260.99. This covers everything inside your home including £6000 for valuables like mobile phones. It also covers £2000 worth of your property away from home. For this you pay a £100 excess.
So before you sign up for insurance with your mobile phone company, check you do not already have cover with your home contents provider.
You might be pleasantly surprised that you have insurance for your property outside the home already.
Source: ABI, Insurance Companies and BBC website article ‘Phones and MP3s fuel robbery rise’ 20 July.
Home insurance underwriters offer cheap home insurance to UK residents.