How to protect your family in 2016

Protecting your loved ones should be a primary concern at all times of your life, but perhaps particularly as the new year dawns. Maybe it time to make a few changes around the home, streamline your finances, or consider investing in technology. Here are several ways to make sure you’re doing your best for your family in 2016.

Make your home safe

BurglarNo home is impenetrable, and although the latest figures show no rise in domestic burglary rates it pays to be vigilant. Steps to take include locking doors in the early evening, fitting a combination of CCTV (real if possible, but a ‘shell’ camera is better than nothing) and motion sensor lighting to expose any strange activity near the home. Buzzfeed’s 18 cheap and effective tricks to deter burglars provides some great ideas for employing less expensive measures to throw off potential miscreants, including pretending to wave to someone when you leave your property and removing ladders from your garden.

Making it more difficult for intruders to get in is one side of the coin; making it impossible for young children to get out is another. A slide lock at the top of the outside door is an easy option, combined with a chain lock. Keep front fences locked, and door gates in place if necessary.


Having the right insurance in place is essential and should the worst happen, at least you will have some protection.  An insurance broker can help ensure you get the most suitable policy and the best value for money. You might use a local company or perhaps an online service such insurance from Howden, an independent employee-owned insurance broker. Policies are available for a wide range of occurrences, from personal injury to destruction of property.

It’s predicted that those bearing the brunt of Storm Desmond might be claiming up to £250m in damages from insurance companies after the flooding carnage, showing that one can never be too careful. More than 5,200 homes have been affected in a number of ways: loss of property and contents, loss of earnings, and perhaps physical injury to name but three.

Mobile phone

One of the most difficult decisions for parents is the ‘correct’ age at which to buy their child a mobile phone. Giving them a means of contacting you through the day or during an emergency will put your mind at rest, but giving them a route into the dangerous world of the internet can be problematic. The smart option might be to initially provide them with a simple phone with no internet access, that can be regularly topped up by you, on the go.


Girl at ComputerThe latest crime statistics for the UK incorporated cybercrime for the first time, and it made chilling reading. More than 5m incidents of online fraud and another 2.5m cybercrime offences took place in the time period reviewed (the year up to June 2015), and studies show that hackers and fraudsters are as happy to target children as any other users.

There’s a huge range of online advice for tackling cyber crime, and these are just a few methods: Make sure your youngsters check with you before making any online purchases; install the latest security measures on your PC or tablet; and be vigilant if your teens have mobile phones.  

Keep your vehicle roadworthy

car keys in ignitionA final tip for regular drivers is to book your car in for regular and interim services. An MOT test checks that your vehicle is currently roadworthy, but doesn’t mean that you’ve got a year’s motoring left in the brakes, for example. Keep a record of your service history and don’t keep putting off inspections, especially if strange lights keep appearing on your dashboard or the car’s handling feels strange.

Article by Patrick Vernon on behalf of Howden Insurance.

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