Tips to protect your home.

Here are some simple tips to improve your home security and reduce the chance of a break in.

1. Install a burglar alarm - monitored security alarms have proven to be the most effective way to combat thieves and may also have the added benefit of reducing your contents insurance premiums.

2. Lock and secure windows and doors, even upstairs - fresh air is nice especially in warmer months, but close them up when you head out and latch those windows tight.

3. Use technology to your advantage:

  • Automatic light timers or doorbell triggered lights - to make it look like someone’s at home.
  • Movement-activated sensor lights - thieves are less likely to choose your house if you’ve got sensor lights outside your property.
  • Alerts (either motion sensors or doorbell triggered) that activate a call to your phone as well as a video.

4. Invest in a safe - if you’ve got expensive or sentimental jewellery or other valuables, it’s probably a good idea to keep them in a safe if they’re not being worn or used.

5. Buy a ‘Beware of the Dog’ sign - even if you don’t own a dog, to put on your gate or invest in a motion-activated alarm that emits barking noises.

6. Mind your landscaping - trees and shrubs give unwanted intruders a place to hide, so get them trimmed regularly so that doors and windows are visible from the street.

7. Make friends with your neighbours - you can ask them to keep an eye out for anything suspicious, clear your mail and go inside to check everything’s safe, particularly if you’re away for long periods.

8. Don’t hide spare keys outside – it may be safer to leave one with a trusted neighbour or friend for safe-keeping or purchase a smart lock system.

9. Lock your side gates - side gates allow thieves easy access to the back of your house, and to be out of sight of the street. Restricting access can make it harder for intruders to remove items from your home and garden.

10. Secure your garden shed and garage - not only are they full of valuables and easy-to-steal tools, but they usually contain implements that thieves can use to break into your home like axes, spades and ladders.

11. Always lock doors between your house and garage - don’t leave bikes or lawnmowers on the front lawn, even while you’re at home.

12. Keep your most expensive stuff out of sight - that includes packaging for those expensive purchases. Take a quick look to see if any valuables are visible from windows or doors, and if they are, find a new place to keep them.

13. Don’t advertise that you’ll be out or away on social media - if you’re planning a holiday and want to share your adventures on social media, make sure it can only be seen by close friends.

14. Check your insurance policy to see whether you need to notify your insurance company that you will be on holiday.

15. Turn off the water at the main supply – to avoid water damage from a leaking or burst pipe while the house is unattended.

Other tips.

  • Register your valuable electronic items: You may wish to consider recording the serial numbers of all your electronic items at SNAP, a free online tool created by the Police. It means if your house is burgled, you can track your stolen property and it may help with your insurance claim too. Here’s more information about SNAP.
  • Review your insurance: Even if you've had your contents insurance for a while, it's important to check your sum insured each year to make sure you've accounted for all your belongings, as well as any extra things you've bought.

We can help.

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Things you should know.

The tips on this page are a brief summary only of general information. 

Westpac Home, Contents, Vehicle and Boat insurance cover is arranged by Westpac New Zealand Limited (“Westpac”) and underwritten by IAG New Zealand Limited (“IAG”). None of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141, Westpac, or any member of the Westpac group of companies guarantee the obligations of, or any products issued by IAG. Westpac will receive commission payments as a result of the arrangement of IAG policies.  See IAG's financial strength rating.

The material on this webpage is provided for information purposes only and is not a recommendation or opinion in relation to an insurance product. The information on this webpage does not take your particular financial situation or goals into account.

Terms, conditions, exclusions and limits apply. More detail can be found in the policy document (downloaded here as a PDF), or obtained by calling 0800 809 378. The availability of any insurance cover is subject to the acceptance and approval of a complete application.

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