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5 things to do after your home has been broken into

Published on: 11 September 2017

5 things to do after your home has been broken into

Spring has sprung and the days are getting longer. The warmer weather means more outdoor fun and less time at home. As exciting as this may sound, it doesn’t go without risks – a vacant home is an easy target for thieves. The last thing you want after a good day out with loved ones is to discover that your home has been broken into, the shock and financial loss is enough to cripple you and leave you feeling helpless.

Should you find yourself a victim of a break in, consider these tips to help you deal with the situation and get assistance:

  1. Secure your safety and call the police: Your safety is a priority, check that the intruders are not still inside and if it’s safe to go in – where possible, ask security personnel to accompany you. If you suspect that the intruders could still be in the house, avoid going into the house. Find a place of safety and contact the police immediately. Don’t touch anything at the scene until the police arrive and inspect the crime scene.
  2. Speak to your neighbours: Speaking to your neighbours or any potential witnesses could help you gather information for the police and your home insurance provider, as someone may have seen something. By doing this, you are not only helping yourself, you’re also helping others by alerting them on the criminal activity in the area. The more people that know about the crime, the more people will be vigilant to suspicious looking characters.
  3. Make notes: You may be in shock from the discovery, however, there will be information that will be requested from you by the police and your insurer. Writing down everything is advisable to document the incident (your discovery and what witnesses say) and what seems to have been stolen. Taking pictures of the crime scene is another way to collect useful information and evidence. Whatever you do, don’t touch, move or clean up anything until the police give you the go-ahead.
  4. Let your insurer know: If your home is insured, you will need to contact your insurer and inform them of the incident. This is also where the notes you took will come in handy. Provide your insurer with the list of missing items for your home insurance claim. Don’t get tempted to add additional items to your claim as this is a crime in itself and will affect your credibility with insurers in future.
  5.  Consider the security shortfalls and beef them up: Taking note of how the intruders gained access will assist you in identifying the areas in your security that could be lacking and creating a security risk. Burglars mostly target homes where there are weak security spots. Remember to inform your insurer of any security upgrades as this will affect your risk profile and insurance premium.

Being a victim of a break in is not only an unpleasant experience, it can also leave you feeling violated and unsafe in your own home. Dealing with the loss of your valuables should not be another stressful process. Check your home and contents insurance policy to ensure that you are adequately covered.