How to make home insurance burglary and theft claims – Forbes Advisor
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It may be surprising that many break-ins take place during the day, according to the 2019 FBI Uniform Crime Report.
About half of all burglaries take place during the day and about 34% take place at night. The remaining 16% are unknown. And thieves usually get away with a decent score. The average dollar value of property stolen in burglaries was $ 2,661.
Burglary, as defined by the FBI, is illegal entry into a structure with the intent to commit a felony or theft. And while the 2019 FBI Uniform Crime Report shows a 9.5% decrease in burglaries from 2018 and a 48.5% decrease from 2010, that doesn’t make crime any less terrifying for them. persons concerned.
In addition to feeling raped, victims often report feeling anger, fear and anxiety, feelings of guilt, lack of trust in others, and feelings of helplessness or loss of control.
In the aftermath of a burglary, you might find yourself not only emotionally traumatized by the event, but also dealing with things like making repairs, changing your locks, identifying missing items, and completing a Home Insurance Claim.
Does home insurance cover theft and break-in?
Theft is a problem covered by home insurance. Home insurance will cover stolen personal property and also pay for issues related to theft, such as the cost of repairing or replacing items that have been damaged in a burglary. For example, if a break-in damages your door and its jamb, your home insurance can pay for repairs and new locks.
Here are some types of home insurance coverage that might apply if you are the victim of a burglary and theft:
- Housing coverage. It pays for repairs to your home if it is damaged during a burglary. For example, he can pay for broken windows and damaged doors.
- Personal property coverage. It pays to repair or replace your personal effects if they are damaged or stolen. For example, if a thief knocks down an expensive lamp or steals your laptop.
- Coverage of other structures. This pays for repairs to loose structures on your property. For example, if the door of your shed is damaged during a burglary.
What coverage do I have in case of break-in and theft?
The amount of your coverage will depend on the limits of your policy and the type of coverage. Covering your home and other structures is fairly straightforward. For example, if you have a limit of $ 250,000 on your home coverage and your door was damaged in a burglary, repairs to your door would fall under your home coverage, less your deductible.
Generally, the coverage limit for personal property is set at 50% to 70% of the amount of housing coverage. For example, if you have coverage of $ 250,000 for your home and you purchased a policy that sets personal property coverage at 70%, your property would be covered up to $ 175,000.
But here’s where personal property coverage gets a little tricky. Some types of items have what are called “sub-limits”, which means that you will only be covered up to a certain amount, not the full limit of your personal property insurance policy. For example, your policy may have a sub-limit of $ 1,500 for stolen jewelry. This means that you will only be covered up to that amount, even if the value of your stolen jewelry exceeds $ 1,500.
If you need more coverage for valuables such as jewelry, artwork, or musical instruments, you can “schedule” them. For example, if you have a diamond ring worth $ 5,000, you can program it for that amount and you will receive $ 5,000 if your ring is stolen. Depending on your insurer, you may be able to schedule items with no deductible.
Another thing to consider for your personal property coverage is the replacement cost versus the actual cash value. When you buy your home insurance policy, you will have a choice between the two. The replacement cost is more expensive, but it replaces a stolen item with a brand new version. True cash value coverage only pays you for the depreciated value of your assets, which could make you pay a lot of money yourself if you want to replace them with new items.
How do I file an insurance claim for break and enter and theft?
If you are the victim of a break-in and theft, here are the first steps to take:
- Report the crime to the police. You will likely need to provide the police report to your insurance company in order to make a claim.
- Have emergency repairs carried out. If your door has been broken or a window has been broken, get it fixed as soon as possible. Be sure to keep your receipts for reimbursement from your insurance company.
- Take photos or videos of the damage. Document the areas of your home that have been damaged or where missing items have been stolen.
- Make a claim with your insurance company. The claims adjuster will review your policy, including applicable types of coverage, sub-limits, scheduled items, and deductibles.
If personal effects have been stolen, it is recommended that you provide your home insurance company with the following information when possible:
- Where and when your item was purchased
- The estimated value of your item
- The make and model of your item
To check the value of your stolen items, your insurance company may ask you:
- Bank statements
- Credit card statements
- Serial numbers
One of the best ways to make a home insurance claim as quickly and smoothly as possible is to create a home inventory. A good home inventory will help you keep track of your belongings and maximize your claim payment.
Home security devices can help you save money
If you take steps to protect your home from theft, you could get a discount on your home insurance. This may include:
- Installation of deadbolts on exterior doors
- Installation of an anti-theft alarm that alerts local police
- Use smart or connected home technology with alerts for break-ins
- Installation of security cameras, wireless motion detectors or doorbells with video cameras
Before spending money on a new home security system, it’s a good idea to speak with your home insurance agent first to ask what type of system qualifies for a discount. You can also ask if you already have certain discounts. For example, discounts may be available if you live in a gated community protected by security guards, key locks, or residence cards.
The cost of insurance claims against theft has been falling steadily since 2014, according to the October 2020 Home Trends report from LexisNexis, a data analytics company. LexisNexis says it could be due to deterrents like home security devices. Fifty-nine percent of those surveyed said they have smart security devices like cameras and wireless motion sensors.
Resources on burglary and theft
If you are the victim of a break-in, resources may be available through the Office for Victims of Crime. For example, you may be eligible for financial assistance under the Federal Victims of Crime Act for expenses not covered by home insurance, such as medical services, mental health counseling, loss of life. salary and other costs.
Here is a state directory of victim compensation programs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Does home insurance cover property stolen from my car?
Home insurance covers personal effects stolen from a car. For example, if a thief slips your laptop, you can file a claim through your home insurance. But if a thief damages your car, you will file a claim with the Back to back insurance part of your auto policy.
Does home insurance cover stolen money?
While theft is a problem covered by home insurance, a standard policy usually limits the amount of cash you can claim. For example, your policy may have a claim limit of $ 200 on cash, banknotes, and smart cards.
If you have large sums of cash or other forms of currency that are over your policy limits, it’s a good idea to store them in a safe and secure place, such as a safe in a bank insured by the federal government.
Does home insurance cover items stolen outside of my home?
Your Home Insurance covers theft of stolen goods outside your home. For example, if you are on vacation and someone steals your luggage from your hotel room, you can file a claim with your home insurance company.