Press Release

Australians more “neighbourly” in 2020, new research reveals

With up to 15 per cent more theft claims made during the festive period, a good relationship with your neighbour could make your home safer.

With 80 per cent of Australians having spent more time at home during 2020 than ever before, new research1 by QBE Insurance reveals this may have helped Australians become better neighbours.

The research revealed that one in three (33 per cent) Australians claim they know their neighbours better now than in previous years, and 61 per cent said they’d like an even better relationship with their neighbour, especially if it could improve their home security.

One in three (35 per cent) respondents claimed they know someone who has had their home robbed or vandalised while on holiday, with a further 8 per cent having been unlucky enough to experience this for themselves.

As Australia heads into the summer holidays, QBE claims data2 highlights a worrying trend of up to 15 per cent more theft claims made during this period than any other time of the year. The main items stolen include jewellery, bags, laptops, phones, rings, keys and tools. 

With state borders starting to reopen and many Australians looking forward to some festive travels, QBE’s Chief Customer Officer, Personal Lines, Eleanor Debelle, urges Australians to take the relevant safety precautions to protect their belongings.

“Now is the time to get back to basics when it comes to home security and make sure you prepare your home before heading off on that much needed holiday with family or friends. After all, most of us haven’t had to lock up and leave our homes for much of 2020 and might be a bit out of practice.

“Our research shows that three in four of us feel more comfortable going on holidays if we know our neighbours are keeping an eye on things. Reaching out to people who live nearby could be a great way to enhance your security and also build on that sense of community that has started to develop over the year.”

The research also revealed that Australians are happy to step up for their neighbours if they notice someone acting suspiciously outside their home, with 71 per cent claiming they’d record a vehicle number plate, 60 per cent would call the police, 47 per cent would give their neighbours a call, and 28 per cent would approach the suspicious party.

“It’s important to always be proactive about your home security, especially when you’re heading away,” continued Ms Debelle. “While insurance is there to help you replace your belongings, losing something sentimental can be a terrible experience, plus of course there’s the added feeling that your privacy has been invaded after a theft.”

QBE recommends taking some simple steps to protect your home while travelling:

  1. Walk around your property and check doors, windows and locks
  2. Make sure valuables are out of sight or given to a trusted person to look after
  3. Ask a neighbour to check on your property, collect the mail, mow your lawn, or put away your bins.

Ms Debelle added: “If you’re not in the habit of letting your neighbours know when you go away, now would be a great time to start. Aside from increasing the security of your home, it may also strengthen the relationship you’ve built during 2020.”

1Pureprofile polling study of 1,004 Australians, aged 18-65, completed for QBE Insurance Australia on 19 November 2020
2Based on analysis of QBE theft claims data 2017 -2020

For more information:

Sarah Bond
Senior External Communications Specialist
QBE Australia Pacific
Phone: +61 466 028 302

QBE Australia
Head Office: Level 5, 2 Park St, Sydney NSW 2000 Australia
PO Box 82, GPO Sydney NSW 2001 Australia
telephone +61 2 9375 4444  facsimile +61 2 9231 6104