Nothing is as shocking and unsettling as coming home to find your front door open, a window broken and your home burglarized. During the holidays the crime rate rises across the board, particularly in home robberies. Your Homeowners insurance policy is designed to cover you for unforeseen and accidental risks – home robbery falls right under that definition.
Even the most basic Homeowners insurance policy will typically cover a break in burglary.
I came home to a burglarized home. Now, what?
The first thing to do is to immediately call the police and file a police report. Many insurance policies require you to notify the policy within a specific (short) amount of time, so it’s best to do it right away. After a round of routine questions and a brief investigation, a police report will be available to you.
Also, make sure to repair damage to your house’s entry point, such as broken window or door, right away to help prevent another incident. Keep the receipts, as the insurance carrier is likely to reimburse you for such an essential repair.
Next item on your to-do list is to call your insurance company and file a claim. An adjuster will be assigned to handle your case. This is where your purchase records and a police report will come in handy.
What records should I keep?
Insurance carriers always advise keeping purchase receipts for all your items to make it easier to assess the value of lost property if the claim is filed. For most people, this is a very tough goal to meet. So the carriers will approve claims without having a copy of the purchase receipts but will need detailed information of items stolen, and the claim might take a bit longer to be settled.
If you don’t feel like it is realistic for you to keep copies of all receipts, consider keeping receipts for your big ticket items – your TV, your furniture and any rare or unique items.
Speaking of rare items – most insurance policies will cover high valued items such as jewelry, art pieces, cash only up to a limit of $2,500 (or less – check your policy for exact coverage amount)
If you have any rare or high valued items (this can include antique furniture etc.) you can schedule them specifically on your policy on a replacement cost basis to recover the item’s true value, if stolen.
Another suggestion is to utilize the technological advancement of our times and keep copies of your receipts digitally backed up on your computer and/or the cloud.
The ink used on receipts fades over time, so a digital copy will ensure your receipt is fully readable when needed.
What is Replacement Cost?
The specific limits of coverage for your house as well as personal property will depend on your particular property. However, there are a few items to look for when negotiating your policy contract.
Replacement Cost – the policy will reimburse you the true cost, in today’s market to replace the item. As opposed to Actual Cash Value (or ACV) when the reimbursement = replacement cost – depreciation.
We hope this blog post serves as a guide as to what to do if a burglary happens. It’s important to note that your homeowners policy covers your property anywhere, including in your car. So if your car was broken into, and your laptop was taken, file the claim against both Auto insurance policy (auto damage) and Homeowners policy (laptop coverage).
Stay safe and happy holidays!