Thieves Like Warm Weather Too

Aviva Canada warns burglaries spike in summer months

TORONTO, June 16, 2011 /CNW/ - This time of year, Canadians are taking advantage of the warmer weather and spending more time outdoors. Aviva Canada Inc., one of the country's leading providers of home, auto, leisure and business insurance, is reminding residents that summer is also an opportune time for thieves to strike.

Aviva insurance claims data shows that residential burglaries spike in summer months with a 13 percent, 20 percent and 31 percent higher frequency in June, July and August respectively, than April, which shows the lowest occurrence of residential theft claims.

"The key factor is more opportunity," said Wayne Ross, Vice President of National Property Claims at Aviva Canada. "As residents are out of their homes more frequently and for longer periods of time in the summer months, there is more opportunity for burglaries to occur."

Aviva insurance claims data also indicates that break-ins are more common at the start of the weekend, with Friday showing the greatest incidence at 26% higher than Sunday, the day with the lowest incidence of break-ins. The good news for Canadians is that burglaries overall are on the decline, with Aviva data showing an over 42 percent decline in burglary claims between 2003 and 2010. National data from Statistics Canada also shows a 4 percent decline in break and enters between 2008 and 2009.

However, while the frequency of this type of crime is on the decline, the value of property being stolen is on the rise. Since 2003, the average dollar value of the articles stolen from burglaries has increased 36 per cent from $4,555 to $6,190 in 2010 - attributable to the popularity of easy to grab valuable items such as laptops, cell phones and video game consoles.

Based on 2005 to 2010 Aviva Canada data, Quebec homeowners have the highest frequency of break-ins at two times that of the national average. At just over one third of the national average, the Atlantic Provinces have the lowest frequency of burglary claims.

Province Frequency of Burglaries (vs. National Average)
Quebec 99% above the national average
Manitoba 43% above the national average
British Columbia 20% above the national average
SK, NT, NU, YK* 4% above the national average
Alberta 2% above the national average
Ontario 20% below the national average
Atlantic Provinces* 64% below the national average

"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 prevent an intruder from entering their property."

Aviva Canada suggests these precautions:

  • If your windows are old, consider upgrading to newer models with improved locking systems. Ensure all windows are locked when out of the home or overnight;
  • Make a home look occupied when you're 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 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 return home to find you've been the victim of a burglary, contact your insurance broker as soon as possible. Aviva also offers a single point of contact to begin the claims process quickly and efficiently. The toll-free claims line is 1-866-MY AVIVA, and it's open 24/7 so customers 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, recreational vehicle, group and business insurance to more than three million customers. The group has more than 3,000 employees, 33 locations, 1,700 independent broker partners and is a wholly-owned subsidiary of UK-based Aviva plc, the world's sixth-largest insurance group. For more information visit

*Burglary claim counts in NB, NF, NS, PE, SK, NT, NU and YT were combined due to low frequency.


SOURCE Aviva Canada Inc.

For further information:

Media Contact: 
Glenn Cooper
Senior Manager, Public Relations, Aviva Canada Inc.
Mobile (416) 523-3225
Desk: (416) 288-2685


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