Theft claims outside the home rise as lockdown measures ease


Thefts without forceable entry increase by 44% between April and June

Popular locations for thefts include pubs, restaurants, cafes, beaches and campsites

Commonly stolen items include phones, bags, laptops and bicycles

Aviva is warning people to be on their guard when out and about, as new data shows an increase in certain theft claims as lockdown measures have eased.

Figures from the insurer reveal that between April and June 2021, theft claims which didn’t involve breaking into a home increased by 44%.

June also marked the sixth month in a row during which Aviva saw an increase in these types of claims.

Items commonly taken include phones, bags, laptops and bicycles, although Aviva also received claims for watches, sunglasses and clothing.

The impacts of lockdown easing and warmer weather are also apparent when it comes to the locations of these thefts, with pubs, cafes, restaurants, beaches and camp sites all featuring prominently. In one instance, a customer reported items being stolen from their tent while they were sleeping inside. There were also a number of incidents reported where items – often phones, bags and wallets – were taken directly out of people’s hands in the street.

Dave Lovely, Global Claims Director, Aviva General Insurance says: “We’ve all been looking forward to being able to venture out and visit venues and locations that have been off-limits for months. Unfortunately, however, it seems thieves have been excited about this prospect too – and now they’re taking advantage of people and their belongings being accessible again.

“People are understandably glad to be out and about with fewer restrictions, but we’d urge people to stay alert while enjoying the new freedoms. A momentary lapse of attention can give thieves an unwelcome opportunity, so let’s not make it easy for them.”

Aviva has the following tips to avoid thefts when out and about: 

  • Consider leaving items at home. If you’re heading out, consider exactly what you need to take with you. Do you need to take a laptop, phone, wallet, tablet? If the answer is “no”, leave it at home – and limit the amount of cash you carry.
  • Use a bag with fasteners. A bag with a zip, buckles or fasteners provides a natural barrier to pick-pockets. You’re much more likely to notice if a thief attempts to get to your valuables.
  • Don’t leave items unattended. Sadly, even if you leave possessions for just a few seconds, they could be taken. Make sure a trusted person is watching your belongings at all times.
  • Use an old phone. If you have an old mobile you can take out for the day, this may be a good way to keep in touch, without putting your latest smartphone model at risk.
  • Make sure pedal cycles are secured when not in use. Bicycles have become hot property during the pandemic, so always use a robust lock when leaving yours unattended.
  • Be mindful how you carry items: Wear a bag that crosses your body so it can’t be easily snatched and take care when using your phone in public places, in case would-be snatchers are watching
  • Be careful of distraction techniques: Professional thieves may try to distract you by engaging you in conversation while they – or an accomplice – makes off with your possessions
  • Think about your insurance needs: Many insurers offer cover for items away from the home, but you may need to choose an add-on to your home insurance, such as “personal belongings cover”. Check with your insurer what is covered under your policy, to make sure you have the most appropriate insurance for your needs.
  • Authored by Aviva


About Aviva

Aviva Insurance Limited is one of the UK’s leading insurance companies, part of the Aviva group with 34 million customers Worldwide. Aviva Insurance has been in the insurance business for more than 300 years.

In UK commercial, the insurance market remains challenging for insurance brokers and customers, due to the ongoing economic conditions. Aviva Insurance are focusing on improving our processes to ensure Aviva provide commercial customers with insurance cover at an acceptable price. Insurance brokers also recognised our excellent customer service by voting us Insurance Times General Insurer of the Year in 2012, for the second year running. youTalk-insurance sharing Aviva insurance news and video.

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