Thousands of UK households that are burgled every year are not covered by home insurance, facing an annual bill of £200 million, research has found.
Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks revealed that a quarter of households in the country are not insured for home contents and one-third have no buildings cover, resulting in more than six million households bearing the cost of a burglary themselves.
Around 600,000 burglaries are reported every year, and almost 150,000 of them are not be covered by contents insurance.
Claims for damage and theft of property cost around £3.2 billion to insurance providers annually, the study reports.
With one in 10 households making an average annual claim of £1,260, the victims could end up paying about £200 million.
The report also suggested that secure windows were the best means to prevent burglaries, followed by double deadbolts on door and sensor or timer lights.
Steve Fletcher, head of retail at Yorkshire Bank, said: "It makes sense to take precautions to prevent burglaries from happening in the first place. But security measures are not fool-proof and you can still fall victim to a determined burglar.
"Adequate home contents insurance can't stop the crime from happening but it can ease the burden should the worst happen."
© Press Association 2010