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New figures highlight Britain’s burglary hotspots

someone setting their burglar alarm systemThe risk of crime can have a big impact on the price of home insurance. But there are ways to keep costs under control.

We often talk about “postcode lotteries” when it comes to healthcare provision or the quality of education.

But your postcode can also have a dramatic effect on the cost of home insurance.

If you live in a postcode area that has a relatively high burglary rate, for example, your premiums are likely to increase as a result, regardless of whether your home or even your street has suffered from more than its fair share of crime.

Insurance companies set the price of home contents cover according to what they think is the likelihood of you making a claim. So if their records and official government statistics indicate that the area where you live has a higher rate of burglaries, you’ll pay more for your policy.

Britain’s burglary hotspots

Here at, we’ve analysed our customer data to work out which towns and cities had the highest and lowest rates of theft from homes.

This was done by comparing the number of burglary claims to the total number of home insurance customers in each area for the whole of 2010.

Top 10 highest rates

NameTheft rate
Leeds 4.67%
London - West 4.24%
London - North 3.73%
Huddersfield 3.59%
Southall 3.53%
Manchester 3.52%
Slough 3.43%
London - South East 3.35%
Nottingham 3.30%
Ilford 3.20%

With 3,500 burglary claims from just over 75,000 customers, Leeds tops the list with a burglary rate of 4.67 per cent – the equivalent of one claim for every 21 households.

Leeds was followed by North and West London, and its West Yorkshire neighbour, Huddersfield.

Top 10 lowest rates

NameTheft rate
Dundee 0.85%
Plymouth 0.84%
Motherwell 0.81%
Perth 0.73%
Kirkcaldy, Fife 0.69%
Truro 0.68%
Falkirk 0.65%
Inverness 0.41%
Dumfries 0.27%
Galashiels 0.18%

Our data found that Galashiels had the lowest burglary rate in the UK, with just 13 claims for almost 20,000 customers.

How this affects you

When insurers set premiums, they look at individual postcodes rather than whole towns or cities – so, for example, some parts of Leeds will have much lower burglary rates than the city-wide average, and householders there will not be so badly affected.

However, crime rates are far from the only factor dictating the size of your home insurance premiums. (How home insurance premiums are calculated.)


Chris Torney

Chris Torney

Chris is the former personal finance editor at the Daily Express. He's been a journalist for more than 10 years and contributes to a wide range of finance and business titles.Read more from Chris