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Easy entry: Almost 1 in 3 Aussies hide a spare house key

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Millions of households conceal a key on their property, with hiding spots far from secretive, according to new research by Finder.

A Finder survey of 1,039 respondents revealed 31% of Australians – equivalent to almost 2.8 million households – have stashed a spare key somewhere around the house.

The research found 3% – 278,000 households – place a key in the switch box, while the same proportion conceal it under a pot plant (3%), or buried in the garden (3%).

A further 1% hide a spare key in the letterbox, or under the front door mat (1%).

Almost 1 in 10 (8%) choose to store it in a key safe or lock box.

Tim Bennett, insurance expert at Finder, said most home insurance policies cover for theft but will not approve a claim if there is no evidence of forced entry.

"The hiding spots we choose aren't entirely original, meaning seasoned burglars know exactly where to look to gain entry.

"Stashing a key in obvious places can have serious consequences for your safety and your home insurance policy."

To help Australian homeowners make better financial decisions when it comes to insurance policies, Finder has announced the winners of its Home Insurance Awards for 2024.

Finder compared 44 policies and got over 430 quotes to help Aussies find exceptional value home insurance.

Australia Post Home & Contents Insurance was awarded Best Home Insurance – Comprehensive as the policy offers competitive pricing and extensive coverage with high limits.

Highly commended for the Comprehensive category included Kogan Home and Contents Insurance and Suncorp Classic Advantages Home & Contents Insurance.

AAMI Home & Contents Insurance took top spot for this year's Best Home Insurance – Value as it provides a similar level of cover to other insurers but at a lower price.

Highly commended for the Value category included 1st for Women Home & Contents Insurance and Budget Direct Home and Contents Insurance.

Bennett said there are better alternatives to hiding a key in your pot plant.

"If you insist on hiding a spare key, change hiding spots any time you use it, put it in a combination lock box, and try hiding it only after dark when less people could be watching.

"Better yet, consider asking the neighbour or a family member to hold onto it for safekeeping," Bennett said.

Do you hide a spare key on your property?
Yes, in my switch box3%
Yes, under a pot3%
Yes, buried in the garden3%
Yes, in the letterbox1%
Yes, under the front door mat1%
Yes, other13%
No, but I use a secure alternative (i.e. lock box)8%
No, I don't hide or store my keys anywhere on my property69%
Source: Finder survey of 1,039 respondents, December 2023

Methodology

  • Finder's Consumer Sentiment Tracker is a monthly recurring nationally representative survey of more than 60,000 respondents.
  • Figures in this release are based on 1,039 respondents from December 2023.
  • The Consumer Sentiment Tracker is owned by Finder and operated by Qualtrics, an SAP company.
  • The survey has been running monthly since May 2019.

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