Our claims data has shown that January is when thieves set out to steal from rural properties.

FMG’s Manager Advice Services, Stephen Cantwell, says theft is the leading cause of farm contents’ claims.

“January appears to be the month when thieves are most active. Not only are the number of claims higher in January but the average value of claims is 23% higher.”

Whether you’re on holiday or on the farm, there are actions you can take to help to deter thieves targeting your property.

“If you’re going away, have a trusted neighbour, friend or family member regularly check in on your property. Get them to clear your mailbox and entrances of mail, packages and junk mail. If rubbish collections are operating in your area, ask them to put your rubbish out on your collection day. This approach is a good deterrent if thieves are scouting the area.

“You could install automatic timer or sensor lighting around your property including at both the front and rear of your house. Mount them high enough to prevent criminals from being able to remove the bulb or cover the sensor.”

Other tips include engraving valuable equipment—this makes it less desirable to thieves and easier to identify. It's also a good idea to record details and serial numbers of high value assets on SNAP, a free online asset register created by the NZ Police at www.snap.org.nz.

“We also suggest using a wheel lock or clamp on your trailer when not using it, particularly if you’re going away.”

If you’re staying on farm be mindful that thieves also target quad bikes—and particularly older bikes—at this time of year.

“Our experience is that older bikes are easier to sell off, which is what makes them so attractive to steal.”

Our claims’ data shows that quads are often stolen when the keys are left inside. This goes for other vehicles too.

“This can happen even if you’re on farm and particularly if you’ve parked up to do some work and leave your bike unattended. We recommend keeping your keys on hand or out of sight, particularly when working in paddocks near public roads.”

For more advice head to https://www.fmg.co.nz/advice/rural-theft/

By the numbers

Over the past three years:

  • $6 million paid out in domestic contents theft claims
  • $3 million in farm contents theft claims

Claiming for lost or stolen contents

  • Let the police know straight away of any missing items and keep record of the police file reference number was logged.
  • check whether any house or vehicles keys have been stolen
  • once you've lodged your claim with FMG, we'll need a list of all items lost or stolen, their approximate age and a quote to replace them. We can help arrange this for most electrical items including mobile phones and if an assessor is appointed, they can help with this as well.
  • We may also need proof of ownership such as receipts, photos or warranties.

You can also claim through FMG's online insurance service - FMG Connect.