Types of locks and home insurance

If you want to reduce your home insurance premiums and improve safety, get the right locks fitted.

Alice Morgan

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Insurance approved door locks

Home insurance companies approve certain types of locks for your house.

These are the most secure types and conform to British Standards (BS3621).

Key points

  • Insurers approve certain locks for your doors and windows
  • Claims could be rejected if you note down the wrong locks when you buy the policy
  • Approved locks can reduce the cost of your premiums

When you’re looking for a home insurance policy, you’ll be asked what type of locks you have on your exterior doors and windows.

If you wrongly guess which locks are installed and then get burgled, your insurer could refuse to pay your claim.

So it’s really important to get them right - and we'll help you work out which ones you have.

Better locks means cheaper home insurance

But home insurance is calculated using a range of information and replacing locks is expensive, so never assume it's the most cost-effective thing to do

Types of locks

Most homes are secured by one or more of these types of locks:

  • Five-lever mortice deadlock
  • Rim automatic deadlatch with key locking handles
  • Multi-point locking system

Five-lever mortice deadlock

The fiver-lever mortice deadlock is a standard lock on lots of types of doors (but not uPVC, aluminium or composite ones).

Look out for the BS3621 approval on your lock - it'll be stamped with the Kitemark (normally on the face plate of the locking mechanism).

A five-lever mortice deadlock locks from both the inside and the outside, and often has:

  • Anti-pick features
  • Hardened steel plates
  • A nightlatch

Rim automatic deadlatch with key locking handles

A rim automatic deadlatch with key-locking handle is a door latch, that’s locked and unlocked with a handle from the inside, and a key from the outside.

It’s often used as an additional security measure rather than the main lock.

If you do use it as the main lock, your insurance might be more expensive, as it’s not the safest solution.

Multi-point locking system

A multi-point locking system has a minimum of three locking points - these all lock simultaneously when you turn the key.

This type of lock is most common on patio or French doors - typically uPVC doors - and not on your main entrance.

If you have a multi-point lock on your front door, your insurer will assess the risk and your insurance might be more expensive. 

Patio and French doors

Your patio or French doors will usually be fitted with either a multi-point locking system, a top or bottom lock, or a central rail key operated lock.

A top or bottom lock has the most basic level of security of the three.

It’s usually used along with one of the other types of locks.

If your French doors are wooden, a lock should always be fitted at 90 degrees to the grain of the wood.

That should stop it splitting if someone tries to break in by forcing the door.

Accessible windows and key-operated locks

All your windows should be protected by key-operated locks and it might be a requirement of your insurance policy, particularly for ground floor windows.

Key-operated locks on windows are normally located on the handle used to open the window, although this will depend on the style, age and type of window fitted.

Accessible windows are on the ground floor or basement level, or within easy reach of the ground and capable of being opened (such as a first-floor window above a flat-roofed, single-storey extension.)

This also applies to skylights and rooflights.

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How much does it cost to replace a lock?

In 2019, the Master Locksmiths Association said the cost to replace or change a mortice, night latch, patio door, or uPVC lock were as follows:

  • Changing a mortice lock will cost upwards of £115, but the price of just the mortice without labour starts from £18
  • Prices start from £90 to replace a night latch (Yale lock) on a wooden door,
  • Replacing a patio door lock starts from £90
  • Changing a standard euro cylinder lock on a uPVC door starts from £85, but an anti-snap euro cylinder on a uPVC door is more expensive, starting from £110

Additional security

Night latches add another layer of security to your doors and installing one could get you a discount on your home insurance.

Weigh up whether the cost of getting one installed will be worth it before you buy by checking home insurance quotes.

Why are approved locks worth it?

First and foremost, approved locks can keep burglars out your home.

They can also mean cheaper home insurance premiums, as your insurer will classify you as a lower risk.

If you fit approved locks and use them correctly, your insurer is more likely to pay out if you make a claim.

That’s because it’ll be satisfied you had taken every step to prevent a break-in.

“If you tell your insurer that you have a burglar alarm or that you have locks on your windows, they’ll expect you to use them,” says our home insurance expert, Ryan Fulthorpe.

“If your alarm isn’t maintained or you don’t lock your windows, your insurer might refuse to pay out.”

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What locks are best for your house?

It depends on a few different things.

You’ll have to think about what type of doors or windows you have and which type of lock you’d be able to have fitted on to them.

Also, look at what your insurer requires you to have and think about the level of security you need for your home.

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