Did you know…
Connecticut is one of the lowest states for burglaries in the country, with an average of 332 burglaries per 100,000 people?
Comparatively speaking, that’s a pretty good number, but 332 burglaries per 100,000 people, that’s still pretty high! For a town like Fairfield, CT, with close to 115,000 people, that’s pretty much a burglary a day!
That being said let’s have a look at what you should do after a break-in and how your insurance will be affected.
What to do after a burglary
1. Notify the police
If you come home to a broken in office and things are a mess, your first instinct might be to call your significant other instead of law enforcement, but it’s important to get the police as soon as possible. If you think the criminal might still be inside, it’s best to leave your home and call 911. If no one’s in the house, call your local nonemergency number ASAP.
An estimated 50 percent of single-family home burglaries aren’t even reported. This may be because people feel hopeless knowing that their items will be returned as, only 13.6% of burglaries in 2014 resulted in arrests. Though it might seem unlikely, there’s a chance your stolen items may be recovered.
If your home was broken into as part of a larger string of robberies, notifying the police can assist them in finding the criminals. Reporting the incident also helps your community collect crime data, which can help your area allocate resources in the future.
2. Take pictures of the damage and stolen items
Insurance claims experts say that while homeowners often never recovered their possessions, the more information police have, the better your chances are of recovering items.
Take the time to walk through your home and take pictures of anything that’s damaged and make a list of any missing items. If you’d noted the serial numbers of your electronics, gather those files in one place.
3. Contact your home insurance company to file a claim
It’s really important to file a police report as it will help the insurance adjuster work through all the details. Our claims experts urge you to file the claim as quickly as possible, ideally within 24 hours, so the details are fresh in your mind. The longer you wait, the more you can forget.
How Will A Burglary Affect My Homeowners Insurance Coverage?
1. Higher Premiums
You will most likely see an increase your premiums if you file a theft claim, although it depends on the terms set forth by your insurance carrier. An increase in premiums is more likely if you have filed other claims with your insurance company in the past, or if you’ve filed multiple claims for losses due to theft. You may pay higher insurance rates from the start if you live in an area that reports a high incidence of theft.
2. Policy Cancellation
Hopefully, this won’t happen to you, but it is likely if you have filed several claims in the past. An insurance company may state in its policy that it has the right to modify or cancel your policy depending on the number of claims you file.
While not all companies will cancel the policy, a company may charge you a higher premium based on the number of claims you have filed. This true if you live in states like Minnesota, Maryland, and the lovely state of Connecticut where a single homeowner’s claim can up an annual premium some 20%.
In Connecticut, the insurance company must mail a notice to their client that they are canceling their homeowners insurance coverage at least forty-five days before it goes into effect.
Insurance companies do not want to keep on a homeowner who becomes a high risk and can refuse to renew your homeowners insurance coverage.
3. Deductible Charge
In some cases, homeowners are charged a deductible when filing a claim related to burglary. This is the money you pay out-of-pocket before the policy pays any cost of the loss and should be outlined in the specifics of your homeowners policy.
The amount of deductible that you must pay will depend on the amount you chose at the time you purchased the insurance policy. If the theft involved only a minor loss, you might not want to file a claim if your deductible is high.
4. Difficulty changing carriers
Homeowners may find it difficult to change insurance companies after filing a theft claim.
If you live in an area where theft occurs often, this can make it even more complicated to change to a new insurance provider. Most companies deny applicants based on their claim history or the area where the home is located.
5. Denial of Vacant Home
If you have gone on vacation for several months and no one is living in your home and then someone breaks into your home, do not expect your insurance company to cover you.
They have the right to reject your claim, as they provided you with burglary coverage while you lived in your home, not when you were away. If you plan to leave your home for several months or years, you will need to get vacancy insurance coverage according to the length of time you will be gone.
The Amount Your Insurance Company Will Reimburse You After a Burglary
Even though you have burglary coverage, it does not necessarily mean your insurance company will reimburse you in full after a burglary. You will still need to file a burglary claim nonetheless and hope they pay you a satisfactory amount. Do the following in the event someone robs your house:
- File a police report
- Compile a list of the items the thieves stole
- Next to the items, write how much each item was worth
- If you have receipts of the items you bought, provide that as well
- Video and pictures of the stolen items work too
Since insurance company pay you the actual value of the item, you need to check the worth of each item periodically to see if you require additional coverage. For instance, the thieves stole your laptop. Your laptop is six years old and its market value is less. You will not receive enough money to buy a new laptop, which is why you need to review your insurance coverage and get more, if necessary.
6 Steps You Can Take to Decrease the Risk of Burglary
Here’s what you need to do to decrease the risk of burglary:
- Lock all the windows and doors of your house and double check to make sure you have locked everything
- You should not keep your house keys lying around your house, but keep them in a safe place where only you and your family knows its location
- Install security cameras and sensor lights that turn on when someone steps on your property
- Install a burglar alarm that would alert the police if a break-in occurs
- Note down the serial numbers for all electronic devices in your home to assist the police in their investigation
- You should create a file of everything you buy
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Pawson Insurance | Legal Disclaimer |
Informational statements regarding insurance coverage are for general description purposes only. These statements do not amend, modify or supplement any insurance policy. Consult the actual policy or your agent for details regarding terms, conditions, coverage, exclusions, products, services and programs which may be available to you. Your eligibility for particular products and services is subject to the final determination of underwriting qualifications and acceptance by the insurance underwriting company providing such products or services. Statements on this website as to policies and coverages provide general information only. This information is not an offer to sell insurance.