Tuesday, 25 January 2011
It's been a month since we were burgled, and over two weeks since the assessor came around and still no word. I have learned something this week though - that as soon as a high-tech security lock comes into existence, someone is out there trying to exploit it. Yes, there are discussion forums for security experts to out-nerd each other.
The most common way of exploiting a lock is by something called Lock Bumping.
Thanks to Saunderson Security for the overview:
"All you need is a special key called a bump key and a hitting tool like the handle of a screwdriver. A bump key is a key which has been cut down to the deepest cut at each pin position. Any key that will fit into the lock can be filed down to create a bump key"
It also says: "Little evidence of intrusion: The lock should not be damaged when bumped, so it is very difficult to prove the lock has been bypassed. Some insurers require evidence of a break-in or some use of force to gain entrance to the property in the advent of a burglary, so insurance claims may be rejected."
Oh yeah drat, if we'd known about this I guess we could've smashed a window.
And if I wanted to make my own? Well, there are many websites who'll sort you out, including UK Bump Keys. 'The best Lock Pick Shop forum for all Lock Picks, techniques, books and discussion' - currently over 4,400 members!
It's baffling why insurance companies are so determined to deny a claim when a little online investigation can throw up any number of options that give grounds for an appeal. I guess they rely on the majority of the public being too passive to argue. Or people like us who might say "Well, it's two grand's worth of stuff, we should be grateful it wasn't more."
Oh - and Rob discovered that his prescription sunglasses - which cost £500 as he's quite blind without them - were in his satchel (the one that got nicked). Curses to these overcast wintery days or he may've realised weeks ago.
In other insurance news...
I was about to insure my new mobile via a company that specialises in small gadgets, £54 for a years cover seemed reasonable. But then I read the small print - the phone would not be covered if it was stolen from my office, as the building wouldn't show any forced signs of entry. These loopholes are getting silly. I didn't bother, but am grateful to my burglar for making me read the small print.
Also, we've been paying Domestic & General 8+ years for washing machine cover for the Indesit appliance at our flat. The machine hasn't worked at all since November. The service man's scheduled visits are at least a week apart and last time he didn't show up at all. Understandably my tenants are getting fractious - but today's conversation with D&G really took the biscuit. When I explained that week days are not practical as people have jobs and can't stay in, and that a weekend or evening slot would be preferable, the guy on the phone had the gall to say "It's in our terms and conditions". OH SHUT UP.
We won't bother renewing the insurance on our washing machine (due any day now, ha!) as paying £70 a year is a waste of money if they can't fix it within a week. Might as well pay a regular washing machine person the call-out fee. Blimey, on their website they advertise it as £39 a year - we've been seriously ripped off. To quote someone on Twitter, insurance is legalised theft. Too right.