If you have been a victim of a home burglary, you are not alone.

When you think of a home burglary it is common to envision criminals in dark clothing, black beanies with masks covering their faces sneaking into your home. However, burglaries these days scarcely resemble that imagery. According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report, about half of reported burglaries take place during the day.  34% of burglaries take place at night while 16% are unknown. 

No matter what time of day a home burglary occurs, the thief usually takes off with about $2,700 in personal property. After a burglary, most homeowners only have one question: what should I do after my home is broken into? 

Home Burglary

Emotional response

Trauma following a burglary can be overwhelming. You’ll experience a mix of emotions in the first moments after realizing someone has broken into your home. Many victims of burglaries report feeling violated, guilty, angry, fearful, distrustful, anxious, helpless and like they have lost all control. Any of these feelings are totally normal. It is helpful to speak to friends, family and even professionals about these emotions to help you deal with the trauma.. Regaining a healthy and normal routine after experiencing a burglary is important for your long-term emotional well-being. 

Physical response

Unfortunately, the emotional toll is not the only thing you will need to deal with after a burglary. You will need to contact the police, and your homeowners’ insurance provider, determine which items are missing, make any necessary home repairs and change your locks. This can be a lot to take in after the shock of a burglary that violates the sanctity of your home. 

What You Should Do After A Home Burglary 

Step 1: Contact the police

Instinctually, your first reaction may be to clean up the mess in your home. However, leave everything as you found it. Your home is now an active crime scene. While your home may look like a chaotic mess, it can be full of evidence. The responding officers will make a report containing any visible damages, security footage, and items that you have noted were missing. If you notice any additional items missing after the initial report is made, you’ll be able to include them by asking the officer to alter the police report or by reporting it to your insurance.

Step 2: Contact your insurance provider

Call your homeowner’s insurance provider. They will need to send a claims adjuster to your house to help you with your claim. The claims adjuster will need to evaluate the damages done to your home to determine what repairs will cost, so do not make any repairs until the insurance adjuster comes to your home. Your insurance adjuster will also need a copy of the police report and a list of any items that were stolen.

Step 3: Providing proof of value

To get the most accurate compensation for items that are missing, you will need to have proof of their value. Your homeowner’s insurance provider or the insurance adjuster will ask you for proof such as:

  • Bank statements
  • Credit card statements
  • Receipts
  • Photographs
  • Serial numbers
  • Warranties
  • Home inventory plan (this is a list some insurance companies recommend making in case of theft)

Step 4: Understanding your insurance policy

All homeowners’ insurance policies are different. After you have been the victim of a burglary, it can help if you know what your policy covers. Thankfully, all homeowners’ insurance policies cover theft. However, each policy will have coverage limits and deductibles to consider. To learn more about what your deductibles and limits are, you’ll need to know the types of coverage in your homeowner’s insurance policy. Your dwelling coverage covers damages to your home in the event someone breaks in. Your insurance policy’s personal property coverage pays to replace items that have been stolen. If you had items stolen from your shed or unattached garage, then you’ll need to verify that your policy offers coverage for detached  structures.

Step 5: Start moving on

Once you have filed your police report and insurance claim, you’ll be able to begin the process of cleaning up your home. This is when you can begin repairs like fixing doors or windows, changing locks, fixing damaged detached structures, and replacing the items that were stolen. 

Step 6: Take care of yourself

If your home has been broken into, there are resources available to you. The Office for Victims of Crime can provide financial resources to eligible homeowners. While your policy may cover physical damages and the replacement cost of stolen items, you may need other types of assistance. If you have expenses from medical issues, mental health counseling, or lost wages, you may be able to get federal assistance through the Federal Victims of Crime Act.

Homeowners Insurance in Central Florida 

A break-in is a terrible scenario. Your home is the place where you and your family are supposed to feel safe. A burglary can undo that in the blink of an eye. 

If you follow these essential steps provided above, you are on your way to feeling safe and secure in your home again. If your home has been broken into or you need to find out more about insuring your home from theft, or you’re looking to improve your homeowner coverage, Kirby Soar can help. We’re an independent insurance office, giving us the freedom and flexibility to work with different providers to find the best coverage for you at the most affordable rates. To find out more, call (813) 752-1680 or fill out our online form.