FMG’s claims data has shown that January is when thieves set out to steal from rural properties and when it comes to equine kit, saddles and floats are the most common.

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 staying at home, 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

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

If you’re staying at home be mindful that thieves also target other items that you may on your property including 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.”

For more advice head to