Burglaries Heat-Up in the Summer Months

Aviva Canada warns break-ins most prevalent on Fridays

TORONTO, June 9 /CNW/ - Every year, Canadians eagerly await the first signs of summer but, along with warmer weather, homeowners should also be mindful for increased incidents of residential break-ins. Aviva Canada Inc., one of the country's leading providers of home, auto, leisure and business insurance, is reminding homeowners to be on alert this summer and take the necessary steps to safeguard their homes from summer burglaries.

Aviva insurance claims data shows that burglary frequencies peak in the summer months, starting with a 4 per cent increase over the monthly average in June and followed by increases of 9 per cent and 20 per cent in July and August respectively. The number of break-ins also increases towards the end of the week, with the highest number occurring on Fridays. A burglary is 28 per cent more likely to happen on a Friday than a Sunday.

"Vacations during summer months take many Canadians away from their homes and these unoccupied residences are attractive targets for burglars," said Wayne Ross, Vice President of National Property Claims at Aviva Canada. "Homeowners need to be vigilant in safeguarding their property to avoid losing high value or priceless sentimental items."

And since 2002, the average dollar value of the articles stolen from burglaries has increased 24 per cent from $4,476 to $5,560 in 2009 - attributable to the popularity of easy to grab valuable items like laptops, cell phones and video game consoles. Based on 2005-2009 Aviva Canada data, Quebec homeowners have the highest number of break-ins, with claims two times that of the national average. At ten times below the national average, Newfoundland has the least number of burglary claims.

    
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    Province                Frequency of Burglaries (vs. National Average)
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    Quebec                199% of national average               + 2.0 times
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    Manitoba              146% of national average               + 1.5 times
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    British Columbia      125% of national average               + 1.2 times
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Saskatchewan          124% of national average               + 1.2 times
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Alberta               103% of national average  Equal to national average
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Yukon                  91% of national average               - 1.1 times
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario                79% of national average               - 1.3 times
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nunavut                51% of national average               - 2.0 times
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Northwest Territories  51% of national average               - 2.0 times
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Prince Edward Island   49% of national average               - 2.0 times
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Nova Scotia            44% of national average               - 2.3 times
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    New Brunswick          43% of national average               - 2.3 times
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Newfoundland            9% of national average               -10.9 times
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    

"Intruders usually enter your home through one of three ways - through the basement, forcing entry through a window or door, or simply opening an unlocked door or window," said Ross. "Homeowners can take simple precautions to avoid these types of entries and prevent an intruder from entering the property."

Aviva Canada suggests these precautions:

    
    -   Ensure all windows are locked. If your windows are old, consider
        upgrading newer models with improved locking systems;
    -   Make a home look occupied when occupants are away. Try parking a car
        in the driveway, leaving some household lights on, or asking a
        neighbour to collect mail and newspapers;
    -   Install a security device with a loud alarm or flashing lights. Some
        alarms even contact authorities directly when they have been
        activated;
    -   Use deadbolt locks on all doors, and when moving into a new property
        have the locks changed.
    

If you do return home to find you've been the victim of a burglary, Aviva offers a single point of contact to begin the claims process as quickly and efficiently as possible. The toll-free claims line is 1-866-MY AVIVA, and it's open 24/7 so clients can talk to an Aviva Claims Care Advisor immediately.

    
    About Aviva Canada
    ------------------
    

Aviva Canada Inc. is one of the leading Property and Casualty insurance groups in Canada, providing home, automobile and business insurance to more than three million customers. Our group of companies has more than 3,300 employees, 40 locations and more than 1,700 independent broker partners. Aviva Canada products and services are delivered across the country under the following brands: Aviva, Aviva Pilot, Aviva Traders, Aviva Elite, Aviva Scottish & York and through S&Y Insurance Company. Aviva Canada Inc. is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the world's fifth largest insurance group. Please visit our web site at avivacanada.com.

SOURCE Aviva Canada Inc.

For further information: For further information: Media Contacts: Sarah Van Lange, Fleishman-Hillard, Account Director, Desk: (416) 645-8173, sarah.vanlange@fleishman.ca; Glenn Cooper, Senior Manager, Public Relations, Aviva Canada Inc., Desk: (416) 288-2685, Mobile: (416) 523-3225, glenn_cooper@avivacanada.com


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