Faulty locks and your home insurance requirements
When a door lock is faulty it can mean that the door may not open, close or lock securely. This is often a result of age, and general wear and tear but can also be due to vandalism or an attempted break in.
As well as being inconvenient, a faulty lock can pose a serious security threat. Two in three burglars will gain access to a property through a door, so even if you feel that the rest of your house is secure, your faulty lock needs attending to right away.
Are you concerned you may have a faulty door lock? Here are some questions that we are frequently asked about dealing with a broken lock and making sure you meet your insurance requirements.
Is my home insurance void if my locks are faulty?
Put simply yes. By not ensuring that all points of access around the house are secure, your insurance policy could be void and you could also be putting yourself and your family in unnecessary danger.
If your home is broken into, and possessions damaged or stolen, your insurance claim may not be settled if your lock was proven to be faulty at the time. Insurance companies state that if your locks are not working, you have not done enough to secure your property and prevent a burglary.
What are my insurance company's requirements?
Each insurance company will have different requirements depending on their own standards and the different policies they offer. If your locks don't meet your insurance company's minimum requirements, you will not be covered if the worst happens.
A stipulation on most building and contents insurance policies is that your home must be secure and your locks must comply with the British Standard 3621:2004. The standard can be identified by the British Standard Kitemark symbol on the lock.
To find out what your insurance provider's exact lock requirements are have a thorough read of your insurance policy documents and terms and conditions, or give them a call and ask them directly.
An insurance approved locksmith such as ourselves will be able to advise you if you require any assistance with this.
What is a British Standard 3621:2004 lock?
British Standard 3621:2004 requires that a door is secure from both sides, meaning that once the door has been locked a key is required to open the door both from the outside and inside of the property.
Normally a BS 3621 lock will be in the form of a mortise deadlock, or a night latch type lock with a deadlocking rim. Because mortise locks require a key to be turned in order to activate the deadlock, a burglar cannot smash a window to reach inside and unlock the door. Also if a burglar has come in through a window it stops them being able to make a quick exit or steal larger items, as they won't be able to open the door from the inside without a key.
Will my faulty lock be repaired or replaced?
First we will look into the feasibility of repairing the faulty lock as this can be more cost effective than a barrel or full lock replacement. Whether or not a repair is possible very much depends on the circumstances and condition of the lock, but this is something we should be able to assess before starting any work.
If the existing lock is below the current British Standard we will give you the option of upgrading to a lock that complies.
What if I need a locksmith at night or early in the morning?
Don't shy away from calling out a locksmith just because it is an unsociable hour. If your lock doesn't work you are vulnerable to a break in and your house needs to be secured as soon as possible. It is for this very reason that we provide a 24 hour locksmith service with no call out charge.
Are lock standards for commercial premises different?
Business insurance companies also have minimum requirements for commercial locks and building security - these differ depending on the type of building and whether or not the building is used by the general public. Read your policy documents and terms and conditions carefully to make sure you are meeting your insurer's minimum requirements - if not they may not be obliged to settle any claims.
If you need assistance with a faulty or broken lock...
We are specialists in all types of lock repairs and offer customer care that is second to none within the Sheffield area. If you need a lock repair or replacement, no matter the time of day or night, please call us on 0114 291 9070 or 07990 573857.