There’s something most Brits do which can invalidate your insurance in the event of a burglary.

Leaving a spare key with a neighbour or pal seems sensible in case you’re locked out.

But, it may affect your claim if your house is robbed, reports the Mirror.

Admiral home insurance found that, on average, UK home owners have seven sets of keys to their house.

Some of which are given to people who do not reside at the property.

A quarter of people gave their spares to a neighbour.

While 16% trusted their mates with a spare set and 10% gave them to colleagues or co-workers.

Will you still leave your keys with a pal? Let us know in the comments...

Check your insurance contract for the rules specific to your home


Meanwhile, 50% of homeowners don’t change the locks when they move into a new house and 60% don’t change them after losing their keys.

Admiral has seen cases where former residents have let themselves into their old house to steal from the new residents.

Some people have even admitted they don’t remember who they left spare keys with while 41% don’t know where all of the keys they kept are.

Noel Summerfield, head of household at Admiral, said: "If your home is broken into by someone who has been given a key, it may not be covered by your home insurance policy, meaning you could end up uninsured if your home is broken into.

"Make sure you know who you are giving a spare key to and that they will keep it safe and secure."

A lockbox is a useful alternative to giving your neighbour a key

He continued: "At Admiral, we've seen examples where a previous owner, or someone they've given a spare key to, has let themselves into their old house to steal the new homeowners' belongings.

"Even house guests have been known to take a spare key and come back later to help themselves to the homeowners' valuables.

"Our investigation proves just how important it is to change your locks when you move into a new home if you think it's possible you don't have all the spare keys."

He added: "Also, if you need a spare key, in case of emergencies, it's worth paying that little bit extra for a high-quality key safe because leaving a key under a mat or flowerpot isn't safe or secure.

"It's also a bad idea to leave spare keys anywhere on show inside your home, like near a door. We've seen incidents where burglars have found a way of getting hold of them through cat flaps and letter boxes."

Admiral’s research showed that the number of home insurance claims for burglaries doubled in October compared with the average from March to September.

Over 2,000 homeowners were surveyed.

Superintendent Peter Crowcroft, at Cheshire Police, said: "If people are going to be late home from work or out for the day, they need to ensure their home looks lived in, is properly secured and not a target for thieves."