Returning home to find out you’ve been burglarized isn’t just terrifying. It could also leave you feeling violated and unsure of what you need to do. Most burglars target homes they believe are empty and try to spend no more than a few minutes in the home grabbing whatever they can. Within the span of 5 to 10 minutes, your home could be invaded and thieves could make off with valuables such as electronics and jewelry. Here are a few steps you should take after your home has been broken into.
Don’t Go Inside
If you’ve returned home and see signs that someone has broken in, such as a broken window or a door left ajar, don’t go inside. You can’t be sure the intruders aren’t still inside. Leave the immediate area and call the police right away.
File a Police Report
The first thing you should do after a break-in is call the police to file a report, which will put the incident on record, and you’ll also need the report to file a claim with your homeowners insurance company. The police will also search for the thief and potentially find and recover your belongings. Avoid touching anything in your home until the police arrive because you could destroy valuable evidence the police need to find and prosecute the thief.
If you need advice regarding a break-in and your homeowners insurance, National City experts at Altra Insurance can be of great benefit.
Make an Inventory of Stolen Items
As soon as possible, compile a list of items that were stolen or damaged in the break-in. Be as thorough as possible, including approximate values and descriptions of your belongings as well as any unique marks such as a sticker on a laptop. Make copies of this inventory to provide to police and your insurance company.
Call Your Insurance Company
Your next call should be to your insurance company if you have homeowners or renters insurance, National City insurance experts can be helpful for understanding your further options. Filing a claim will allow you to recover the market value of your items or their replacement cost, depending on your coverage. Your insurance company will most likely send an adjuster to investigate your claim in person. You need to provide the police report and your inventory when you file your claim.
Make Your Home Safe Again
Once the police have left, take pictures of damage to your door and/or windows for insurance purposes, then take steps to secure your home. For example, you may want to call a locksmith to replace your locks. Broken windows can be boarded until replaced. You may also want to consider upgrading your security measures to address weaknesses that allowed intruders to get inside. Most break-ins occur through front or back doors. You may want to invest in motion-sensitive lights, a better door lock, and window locks.
Make sure you have adequate home or renters insurance in the event of a break-in. Get in touch with Altra Insurance Services today to see if you have a suitable policy. We also offer affordable and reliable car insurance. National City families can call (800) 719-9972 to receive a complimentary quote from one of our friendly agents.