And steps to take before it happens.
It’s a truly terrifying experience to discover that someone has broken into your home. Many emotions rush through you—the feeling of being violated and the fear that your family could have been hurt. When it happens, it can be really difficult to know what to do next—but pulling yourself together and taking the right steps is imperative. Knowing what to do in the event that your home is burglarized is extremely important:
1. Call the police
The moment you realize that your home has been broken into, call the police. The sooner you get them on the scene, the more likely it is that they will be able to catch the thief because they could still be nearby. After you’ve made the call, take a deep breath and look around the house without touching anything. If the burglar broke in through the door or window, take pictures of the damage done because you will need that for your insurance company.
2. Make a list
Once the police are en route, begin to make a list of everything missing from your home. Write down anything that you notice has been taken and the estimated value of each item, this list will need to be as comprehensive as possible in order to help police locate your belongings and to assist your insurance company with the claim.
3. Call your insurance company
After the police have finished writing up their report and investigating the scene, your next move should be to call your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance company. It’s important to note that you need to wait until after the police have been there because you’ll need to pass along their report to your insurance agent. You will also need to be ready to answer several questions in order to get your claim going. Some of these questions will include:
• Where was the point of entry and was there any damage to your home?
• Are emergency repairs needed (if there is a broken window or one of the doors is busted own)?
• What was stolen?
• What time did you discover you’d been burglarized?
• Was anyone home at the time?
• Is anyone injured?
The next step may include a claims adjuster coming out to your home to investigate further.
4. Clean up
Of course, before you sweep away any broken glass or start trying to put the door back on its hinges, make sure that the police have finished their report and you’ve taken pictures of all the damage and the entry point. Many people are so emotionally upset after a break-in (understandably so), that they want to clear away any evidence of the crime as soon as possible. But always wait—you don’t want to end up wiping away fingerprints or other clues that the police could use to find your belongings or the criminal. If necessary, get in touch with a locksmith or whoever can do some temporary repairs so that you can ensure the security of your home.
How to prepare ahead of time
No one is ever really ready when a crime like this occurs, but there are certain things you can do ahead of time to make the process of filing your claim and getting reimbursed for your lost items easier. Always take pictures of items that are valuable, including jewelry pieces, camera and electronic equipment, TVs, artwork, and collectibles. Keep these pictures in a digital file and make sure that you also keep receipts whenever possible of expensive items.
Make sure you’re covered
Another critical way to protect yourself from suffering major loss is to ensure that you have the right insurance coverage. Check your homeowner’s policy to confirm that your valuables are covered and, if you’re a renter, be sure to include coverage for all your personal belongings at replacement cost because this will ensure that you receive the amount it would cost to replace your property.
Becoming a victim of a break in causes a serious breach in your sense of security. Once you’ve followed all the necessary steps, it’s time to take a deep breath and heal. It’s never easy to get over a crime, especially one that involves your home—where you always want to feel safe.
If you’re in need of homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, give us a call at 305-648-7070 or request a quote. We have a broad range of insurance solutions and are happy to guide you in selecting the ideal coverage for your needs.