SHARP HOME

Thursday, 8 September 2011

What to Do After You’ve Been Robbed

Those who have been robbed know the feeling. You come home from work, your door is cracked open, and the place is a mess. That’s when it hits you: you’ve been robbed. Knowing how to properly react to a home invasion is important. Here at the Insurance Experts, we’ve compiled a step-by-step guide to dealing with a robbery.

1. Contact the police immediately
This is especially important since there is always the chance that the robber could still be there! After discovering your house has been robbed, you should get to a neighbour’s home immediately and call the police. You do not want to risk a chance encounter with a robber. The officer will secure the home, write a report and jot down your information.

2. Keep the report number
Be sure to hold on to the police report number. This is important as your insurance provider will ask for it. It is also useful in case you have to follow up with the police in the future.

3. Quickly secure your home
After the police leave, be sure to secure the home as much as possible. If there are windows open, close and lock them. If your door can close, be sure to do that. Do as much as you possibly can to ensure that your home isn’t robbed again before a contractor comes to fix the lock. If a contractor is not able to come to the house that evening, stay with family and friends instead of at the home.

4. Contact your insurance provider
Your next step after calling the police should be contacting your insurance provider. They can provide you with more specific information about the steps needed for filing your claim and can refer you to a preferred contractor who can replace your locks and ensure your home is made safe again.

5. Document missing items and damage done to the home
Go through your home room-by-room and make a detailed list of all the missing items. Find receipts for expensive items and appraisal records for jewelry and other precious objects. As discussed in a previous post of the Insurance Experts blog, having made a inventory ahead of time can save you a great deal of stress.

Take photographs of any damage done to your home by the robber. Smashed-in windows, broken lock mechanisms or other miscellaneous damage should be documented as best you can.

6. Talk to neighbours
Having witnesses to the event could possibly lead to the thief being identified and brought to justice. Talk to your neighbours and see if anyone witnessed the robbery.

7. Consider investing in a security system
While it may be a costly expenditure, investing in a security system will make a future burglary less likely. It will give you and your family peace of mind and may actually reduce your home insurance premiums. Check out our previous post on securing your home from burglary to get more details on the benefits of a home security system. 

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