Neighbourhood Watch and home insurance

Joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme helps protects your community and could reduce the cost of your home insurance. Find out more...

Key facts

  • Neighbourhood Watch schemes are voluntary community groups that aim to reduce crime
  • Some insurers offer discounts if you join a Neighbourhood Watch scheme
  • If there's no scheme in your neighbourhood, you can set one up

Neighbourhood Watch schemes involve residents and the police voluntarily coming together to make communities safer.

Not only can joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme protect your home and community, it could help to reduce the cost of your home insurance policy.

Neighbourhood Watch schemes

Neighbourhood Watch has been an institution since the early 1980s.

It brings together local people with the aim of creating friendly communities where crime is less likely to happen, while helping to safeguard each other’s property against potential threats.

Neighbourhood Watch also runs campaigns to promote fire safety and personal safety when you’re away from home, and gives advice on how to protect your belongings while out and about.

Neighbourhood Watch and cheaper home insurance

On 5 July, 2014, Gocompare.com analysed 318 home contents insurance policies listed on the matrix of independent financial researcher Defaqto.

An increase in the number of insurers offering a financial incentive would encourage more people to become involved in Neighbourhood Watch
Ben Wilson, Gocompare.com

It was found that 33% offered a discount for households that were part of an active Neighbourhood Watch scheme, meaning that a little community spirit could result in insurance savings.

“Joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme shows a willingness by homeowners to go above and beyond to protect their home and community, something insurers look upon favourably when assessing the risk you pose,” said Gocompare.com’s Ben Wilson.

“The key element of joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme is that it’s active. The scheme will hold regular meetings which you’ll attend, and being a proactive part of the scheme is essential if you tell your insurer you’re a member.House

“While some home insurers may offer discounts for people who are part of an active Neighbourhood Watch scheme, the size of the discount can vary between insurers.

"Also bear in mind that it may require proof that you’re part of a Neighbourhood Watch scheme if you need to make a claim.

“As of July 2014, only a third of policies on the market offer a discount.

"However, it would be interesting to see whether an increase in the number of insurers offering a financial incentive would encourage more people to become involved in these sorts of schemes, which could be a way for insurers to reward customers who take a more active role in their community.”

How to get involved with Neighbourhood Watch

Joining a Neighbourhood Watch scheme doesn’t mean simply putting a sticker on your window.

More people are playing an active role in their communities
Ben Wilson

To be a fully fledged member, you’ll need to attend meetings and become involved in crime prevention in your area.

Attending meetings could mean learning and sharing crime prevention and security tips, or discussing local matters.

You might learn how to monitor and prevent crimes other than burglaries and theft as well, including anti-social behaviour, fly-tipping and vandalism.

To find out if a Neighbourhood Watch scheme already exists in your area, check at your local police station or search using your postcode.

If there isn’t a scheme nearby, you can start your own with information from the Neighbourhood and Home Watch Network.

Popularity of Neighbourhood Watch

According to data collected by Gocompare.com, the number of people enrolling in Neighbourhood Watch schemes rose between 2010 and 2013 across every age group.

Perhaps surprisingly, the biggest increase in people signing up was among householders under the age of 30.

The proportion of households from this age group enrolled in Neighbourhood Watch almost doubled, going from 10% in 2010 to 19% in 2013.[1]

“We’re often told that as a society, we’re becoming increasingly distant from our neighbours," said Gocompare.com’s Ben Wilson.

"However, we’ve found that memberships of Neighbourhood Watch groups rose substantially when we compared 2013 to 2010, especially among the under 30s, so it seems that more people are playing an active role in their communities."

By Emily Bater