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The cost of a burglary: Victims faced with £2,833 bill from damaged and stolen items

Press release   •   Oct 05, 2016 11:46 BST

  • The average cost of damage caused during a break-in is £566…
  • …coupled with an additional £2,267 from the value of stolen items
  • The percentage of burglaries where computers are stolen has risen dramatically over the last decade (17 per cent to 34 per cent)

A burglary will cost the average household £2,833, according to Post Office Home Insurance.

The research, taken from the Office for National Statistics (ONS), found that unlucky residents could be met with a £566 bill for damage in addition to the £2,267 lost in stolen valuables.

The most common costs as a result of damage caused during a burglary include forced doors (51 per cent), broken locks (27 per cent) and broken windows (24 per cent). Families may find themselves scrabbling to scrape together the money to cover these repairs, at a time when they feel particularly vulnerable in their own home.

Top 5 household damages caused by burglary

Type of damage %
Damage to an outside door51
Damage to lock27
Broken window24
Damaged furniture/furnishings7

In addition to damage to your home, burglary victims are also left out of pocket when it comes to the items stolen. The items most likely to be taken include jewellery (38 per cent), money (38 per cent) and computers (34 per cent). Jewellery, in particular, usually has sentimental significance for people, adding to emotional distress that comes about as a result of a burglary.

Top 15 items stolen in average burglary

Type of item stolen%
Jewellery 38
Purse/wallet/money etc38
Computer/computer equipment34
Electrical goods/cameras19
Handbag/briefcase/shopping bag8
Household items/furniture6
House keys5
Vehicle/vehicle parts5

Items stolen have also changed as a result of changing trends, particularly with the increase in valuable – and portable - technology and gadgets kept in the average home. The percentage of burglaries which involve the theft of a computer has risen dramatically in the last decade, possibly as households move from desktops to laptops and tablets (from 17 per cent to 34 per cent). This is of particular concern to parents of students who will be taking their tech to halls as universities across the country begin the new academic year.

Rob Clarkson, Managing Director at Post Office Money Insurance, said: “Nothing can prepare homeowners for the emotional impact of a burglary – it can leave you feeling vulnerable and unsafe in your own home. At this difficult time, the last thing you should be concerned about is the practicality of covering costs for home repairs or replacing valuables. As such, it’s important to make sure you protect your home as much as possible, not just by securing doors and windows but also by having adequate home insurance in place. We also suggest that wherever possible you don’t leave portable valuable items on show.”

Top tips to protect your home

  • If possible, invest in a security alarm as they can deter criminals targeting residential properties
  • Install an external light on the front and rear of your home as burglars are less likely to attempt a break-in. If you are on holiday, consider adding timers to some indoor lights to give the impression the property is occupied
  • Make sure valuables aren’t placed in plain sight of windows
  • Consider adding additional locks to your exterior doors if you are concerned that they could be easily forced by an intruder
  • Ensure you lock all outside doors and windows before you leave your home or retire for the evening – burglars often aim to commit their crimes in a very short amount of time, so even if you are just popping out, it pays to be safe
  • Make sure your shed or garage has strong locks – they are often targeted by burglars due to their lack of security
  • Never leave keys outside in typical hiding places – burglars know to check places such as flowerpots or doorframes for keys. It is safer to leave spare keys with nearby friends and family
  • Ensure your home insurance sum insured is sufficient and covers you for burglary and theft
  • Consider new technology that allows you to monitor your home from a mobile device


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The Post Office (Post Office Limited) has an unrivalled national network of over 11,500 branches across the UK, more than all the high street banks combined, and sits at the heart of communities in Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and England. The Post Office has made a commitment to maintaining its network of branches at its current size and reach. It provides around 170 different products and services spanning financial services including savings, insurance, loans, mortgages and credit cards; Government services; telephony; foreign currency; travel insurance and mail services.

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