As burglaries rise, Chubb urges insurers to provide cash for counselling

Chubb has urged insurers to pay for more support and protection for victims of aggravated burglary.

The call came following the publication of a new report on aggravated burglary which said one in 200 homes will experience violence from intruders this year.

Chubb European head of personal lines John Sims said insurers should foot the bill for psychiatric counselling and additional home security for victims of aggravated burglary.

"Insurance companies must respond to this growing crime and ensure their policyholders can get the help they need in the aftermath," said Sims.

Sims added that many insurers' home policies did not include provisions for counselling and additional security.

"Traditional home insurance policies take little or no account of the real impact of aggravated burglary. The trauma suffered by victims of this type of crime often requires counselling and can lead to months of illness and disability," said Sims.

The report, which was commissioned by Chubb and written by Professor David Canter of the University of Liverpool centre for investigative psychology, said aggravated burglary had risen by 79% since 1991.

There were 4,000 instances of aggravated burglary recorded in the UK in 2002.

Aggravated burglary involves an offender committing a burglary with "any firearm or imitation firearm, any weapon of offence or any explosive".

Professor Canter urged victims of aggravated burglary to seek counselling.

"Victims should consider seeking professional help to deal with the after effects. Some simple counselling immediately after an attack can substantially reduce the risk of long term psychological problems."

Sims added: "The rise in violent burglary in this country is deeply worrying. Most importantly, as our report shows, this isn't just something that affects celebrities such as Cilla Black or Juan Sebastian Veron, it affects us all."