What To Do After a Home Break-In
April 24, 2018
Burglaries happen every 15 seconds in the U.S. with anywhere between 66-75% happening on residential ground. We know our readers are swift and savvy, so we offer you this week’s blog for steps on what to do after an attack on your residence. If you also own a business, check out our blog on the same topic!
Call 911 & File A Police Report
If your home has been burglarized, don’t investigate on your own and don’t touch anything. Leave your home and head to a safe place – your car or a neighbor’s house – and call 911. This is for your own safety, first and foremost, and it could increase any chances of catching the thief. The sooner the police can investigate the crime, the better. For example, some of your belongings could be at a local pawn shop, indicating the burglar may still be nearby. If you have security camera footage, you’ve just increased your odds of catching him/her!
When you have security monitoring from Per Mar, the police will be contacted for you the instant a verified alarm event is detected. Your home’s location and any other pertinent details will be sent to the police within seconds of the crime occurring and without you lifting a finger.
Once there, the police officer will ask if you want to file a police report. You’ll need it to file your insurance claim. If you were there during the robbery, take down anything you can recall and record the name(s) of your law enforcement officer(s).
Take Inventory & Contact Your Insurance Agent
It’s best to wait until the police are gone to start taking photos so as not to disturb anything or accidentally override the burglar’s fingerprints. Locate any before photos and receipts you have for any of the missing or damaged items.
When filing an insurance claim, your insurance agent’s first question will be for the police report number, so be sure to have that in-hand when you call. An adjuster will visit your home to assess the damage and you’ll already have your photos and receipts ready.
Your chosen policy will determine how much coverage you have for a home break-in. According to the Insurance Information Institute (III), “Theft of personal possessions and damage to the home caused by a break-in is covered under a standard homeowners insurance policy. If you have replacement cost coverage it will replace a stolen item without deducting for depreciation. Actual cash value coverage will pay only what the stolen item is worth today. With replacement cost, which is only about 10 percent more than actual cash value, damaged property is replaced without deducting for depreciation.” And, discounts are usually available to homeowners and renters who invest in home security systems, with up to 20% off for a “sophisticated alarm system.”
PRO TIP: If you have any unreimbursed expenses, talk to your tax preparer about tax deductions.
Cancel Everything & Clean Up The Mess
Your confidential documents may not be missing, but your credit rating and identity could still be at risk. Smart burglars use smartphones to snap photos of identifying documents, leaving the homeowner’s files in tact and nothing to suspect. As a precautionary step, freeze your credit, cancel credit cards and/or contact your bank(s).
As for any physical damage and mess left behind, you’ll be able to move on quicker the sooner everything is back to normal. Request the help of friends and family if it’s too much for you to bear. There was damage done, collateral and otherwise, so just take things one step at a time as you get back on track.
Recover & Find Peace of Mind
In that same realm, you and your family may be a bit shaken up, understandably. Family or group counseling may be in order. Whatever you choose, don’t be afraid to seek help.
Once you are ready, consider identifying weak points in and around your home and develop a security plan. If you are reading this and your home hasn’t been broken into, you can skip straight to this step. Countless Per Mar customers report back that having a home security system has allowed them to find peace of mind.
We offer free consultations and our security professionals are helpful, not stressful. You won’t find any high-pressure or invasive tactics, only someone who wants to find a home security plan that works for your needs! If you have security-related questions, ask one of our experts.