Understand how your homeowners’ insurance coverage works in the event of a burglary
Experiencing a home burglary can be a frightening experience. However, you need to stay calm and follow some important steps with your insurance company to protect your interests and minimize the inconvenience and possible financial complications.
First, file a police report so that you can get started on making a claim. Once the report has been written up, call your insurance company right away. In some states, you have a certain time limit to file a claim. Once the claim has been filed, your insurer will get to work. According to insure.com, “A claims adjuster may come to your home to assess your loss. The more information you can provide (such as receipts, photographs and appraisals) that verify value about stolen items, the quicker the claims process will be.”
Make sure you review your homeowners’ policy so you understand the terms and coverage limits. Most policies provide coverage for your possessions at about 50% – 70% of the entire amount of insurance you have on your home. Other items like jewelry or silverware may have their own limits. Look at coverage pertaining to property damage as well as replacing stolen items. You’ll also need to check if claims will be paid based on replacement cost or actual cash value. Those are two different things and they will affect how much money you receive. Replacement cost means your insurer will value stolen items at the cost it would take to repurchase them at today’s prices. For actual cash value, the insurer will most likely deduct for depreciation, meaning what the item would sell for today, not how much it might cost to replace it.
What information should you track in the event of a break-in?
Your insurance company will need a list containing the value of the items in your home. Don’t wait until after a break-in to determine these amounts. Start to gather this information now by maintaining an up-to-date home inventory. You’ll also need this list in the event of a catastrophic loss such as a fire or natural disaster that destroys all or part of your home. You can find a good inventory template at insure.com, which includes belongings like furniture, appliances, carpets, electronics, computers, clothes, books, dishes, artwork, lighting fixtures, linens, and outdoor furniture.
You can create an Excel spreadsheet or use home inventory software. You can even use special apps such as ones recommended by Forbes. Store the list somewhere outside your home. If you keep the document on a home computer, make sure you save a backup copy elsewhere in the event that your computer is stolen or damaged. Consider using a service like Dropbox, Google Docs or store it in the Cloud so that you can access the information from anywhere.
No one wants to think about his or her home being invaded by a burglar, however you need to prepare now in the event that you do experience a break-in. Contact Avante Insurance today to find peace of mind for you and your family.