RACQ warns Queenslanders to beware of burglars ahead of long weekend

Picture of a home with security gates open in the foreground.
Photo by Alvin Engler on Unsplash.

RACQ Insurance has warned Queenslanders to lock up their homes ahead of the state’s second long weekend this coming Monday.

Along with the ACT, SA, WA and the NT, Queensland was given a public holiday this Monday just gone in celebration of ANZAC day. Now Queenslanders will be able to enjoy another four day week, as the state will be taking a public holiday for Labour Day on Monday 3 May.

This time off, plus the easing of lockdown restrictions means many will be looking to hit the road and take a much needed short holiday. RACQ spokesperson Kirsty Clinton says while it’s great to see everyone getting out and about, Queenslanders should take a few minutes to ensure their homes are locked up tight.

"The simplest things are often easily forgotten, so make sure you double check you’ve locked all doors and windows before you set off,” she said. “Don’t advertise on social media that you’re on holidays, you can post happy snaps when you return."

High theft rate

The insurance provider says it feels the need to highlight the risks to Queenslanders, as it has noted a significant number of home theft claims in the past three years. A total of 3,819 to be exact.

Areas with the highest number of home theft claims (according to RACQ) are:

  • Brisbane South
  • Logan - Beaudesert
  • Gold Coast
  • Ipswich
  • Brisbane Inner City

Clinton says RACQ is worried about Queenslanders becoming complacent after spending so much time at home in 2020.

Does home insurance cover theft?

Theoretically yes, home insurance should cover theft. However, if you left a window or door open and the thief simply walked in - your claim may not be accepted.

What you are covered for will also vary depending on which policy you pick. If a thief enters your home and damages a window or door in the process, then you would have to have home building insurance to cover the damage. If they then stole expensive items such as a TV or furniture, you would need contents insurance already in place to cover those losses.

A number of insurance providers will also only accept your claim if the incident has been reported to the police. On top of this, you may also have to prove that your home was secured and that the thief gained entry by force.

Some tips from Clinton include:

  • Asking a trusted neighbour to check your mail, mow your lawn and take your bins in and out (if you are going to be away for a long period of time)
  • If you have the money - investing in a timer for your lights or TV, a security camera or even tech that allows you to control things in your home via your smartphone
  • Lastly, make sure your insurance cover is up to date.

If you are looking to take out home insurance right now, then you should also be mindful that most policies come with a 48 to 72 hour waiting period that applies before cover kicks in. During this time period you can also usually cancel your cover, if you change your mind about it.

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