Association seeks support from government in campaign to help households on low incomes

Stephen Haddrill, the ABI’s director-general, has written to a cabinet minister calling for all new homes to be built with a minimum level of security.

The letter to Hazel Blears, the communities and local government secretary, is the latest development in talks between insurers and the government on helping households with low incomes. Latest figures show they are 71% more likely to be burgled than the average homeowner.

The Home Office recommended Haddrill write to Blears after a round-table meeting with the insurance industry on 10 March.

The government is looking to improve security on new homes, but has not yet made it mandatory for new-builds to have a minimum security requirement.

In the letter, Haddrill writes: “If there is no requirement that all new developments include security features, it will be a lost opportunity to significantly reduce the risk of crime.”

The ABI has also agreed to work with the Home Office on producing a general consumer guide on adequate home security.

It will offer advice on how to lock up a home properly when all the occupiers have left and recommend suitable door locks and windows.

In a separate initiative, the ABI is to hold workshops around the UK to encourage people on low incomes – 56% of whom do not have home insurance – to take up some contents cover.

Brokers, insurers, consumer associations and local authorities will be invited to the workshops, which will take place in the near future. The first event will be held in Northern Ireland.

A Home Office spokesman said there had also been discussions on improving access to insurance for tenants.