Insurance Policy Questions

If you’ve read the fine print on your insurance policy, it will probably have had a few requirements …

  • A five-lever mortice deadlock?

Mortice means that it is buried in the door. Whereas a rim lock is attached to the face of the door, a mortice lock is fitted in a hole (the mortice) that has been hollowed out for it. Deadlock means that the bolt is not sprung like a latch- (or live-) lock; no amount of poking and prodding with a card will withdraw it. And five-lever means that the tumblers are not easily-defeated pins but harder to pick levers.

So if you can’t see the lock body, if you need a key both to lock and unlock the bolt, and if the faceplate (the bit you can see; in the edge of the door) says five levers (or five detainers) then you are probably OK. (Although it is a good idea to get in writing from your underwriter that five detainers are acceptable – which they very much ought to be.

  • A multi-point locking system with at least three locking points?

This is typically what you will find on a uPVC or composite door. You lift the handle up and several – at least three – bolts, hooks or mushrooms engage. (And then your key locks the handle.)

  • Accessible windows to have key-operated, mortice bolts ?

Again, mortised means that they are within the fabric of the window and not merely screwed to it. Key operated is a bit redundant as there couldn’t really be any other way that the bolts would get set. But, yes, to set the bolt one inserts the key – which typically looks just like a rod with a star or asterisk profile – and turns it about two and a half times. Again it’s best to get agreement in writing that a standard key is acceptable; i.e. everyone’s lock has the same key. (My policy leaflet even has a picture of a mortised bolt with a standard key.)