Mr M‟s home was broken into in October 2002. The burglars had kicked in a panel in his back door and stolen many of his possessions. After accepting his claim for the stolen contents, the firm arranged for one of its approved contractors to replace the back door, even though the council owned the property and was responsible for repairing the damage. Early the following year, shortly before Mr M‟s policy was due to expire, the firm sent him a renewal questionnaire. This asked for details of his current security arrangements. Mr M completed the form, confirming that his external doors had "a mortise deadlock and security bolts or a key-operated locking system". The firm renewed the policy, but within a month Mr M‟s property was broken into a second time. Again, the thieves had kicked in the rear door panel .When the firm discovered that the back door did not, in fact, have security bolts or a key-operated locking system, it refused to meet Mr M‟s claim.
Complaint upheld
It was careless of him not to have double-checked this. There were two further factors into account. First, even if Mr M had realised that he needed to fit bolts, we did not believe they would have impeded the burglary. This was because the burglars had entered the house by kicking in the door panel. Second, even if Mr M had answered the question correctly, the firm would still have allowed him a reasonable period of time in which to change the locks. The burglary occurred within this timescale.

Claim was thus upheld. Might be Mr M‟s failure to comply with the security condition was connected with the loss and we pointed out to the firm that it was good insurance practice to meet claims in such circumstances.