Don’t make this mistake when it comes to your house keys

Christina Hoghton
Written By:
Christina Hoghton

Many people hide a spare key outside their home but it’s important to know why this is a bad idea

Nearly one in three Brits keep a spare key hidden on their property in case they lock themselves out, according to Comparethemarket.

But not only could this be unsafe, as burglars know that we do this and where to look, it could also invalidate your home insurance, said the price comparison site.

The home insurance team at Comparethemarket conducted a study to discover how many Brits have been locked out of their homes before, as well as how many keep a spare key on their property in case this happens.

It revealed the most common places Brits hide their spare key:

1. Inside a keysafe or lockbox – 33%

2. Under a doormat – 10%

3. Under an ornament (e.g. garden statue) – 9%

4. In/under a flower or plant pot – 8%

5. Behind/inside/under a loose brick – 7%

Locked out

According to the survey, over a third of UK residents get locked out of home at least once a year, with men (43%) more likely to lock themselves out than women (31%).

Data shows Londoners are most likely to be locked out of their homes (50%), with 40% admitting to hiding a spare key on their property.

However, this can have serious implications for safety and home insurance policies.

Anna McEntee, home insurance expert from Comparethemarket, explained: “When it comes to hiding spare keys, storing them around your property can not only be unsafe but could also invalidate home insurance policy.

“Key safes and lock boxes are a reliable solution for storing spare keys – just be aware that insurance providers often request evidence that it meets the necessary security standards to comply with your insurance policy requirements.

“If your keys happen to be lost or stolen, it’s important to get the locks changed as soon as possible – not just for security, but to make sure your home insurance policy isn’t at risk of being invalidated. Some home insurance policies offer cover for replacement locks if keys are lost, so it’s worth checking what level of cover you have with your provider if you do need to change the locks.”