How to Make Burglary and Theft Claims on Home Insurance – Forbes Adviser

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It might come as a surprise that many burglaries occur during the day, according to the FBI’s 2019 Unified Crime Report.

About half of all burglaries take place during the day and about 34% take place at night. The remaining 16% is unknown. And thieves usually make up for it with a decent score. The median dollar value of property stolen from burglaries was $ 2,661.

Burglary, as defined by the FBI, is the unlawful entry into a structure with the intent of committing a crime or theft. And while the FBI’s 2019 Unified Crime Report shows a 9.5% decrease in burglaries compared to 2018 and a 48.5% decrease compared to 2010, that doesn’t make the crime any less terrifying for those affected. .

In addition to feeling violated, victims often report feeling angry, anxious and fearful, a sense of guilt, a lack of trust in others, and helplessness or loss of control.

In the aftermath of a burglary, not only can you become emotionally traumatized by the event, but things like making repairs, replacing your locks, identifying missing items, and filing a home insurance claim.

Does home insurance cover theft and burglary?

Theft is one problem covered by homeowners insuranceHome insurance covers stolen personal property and also reimburses theft-related issues, such as the cost of repairing or replacing items damaged during a break-in. For example, if a burglary causes damage to your door and jamb, your homeowners insurance can cover the repairs and new locks.

Here are some types of home insurance that may apply if you are a victim of burglary and theft:

  • Home coverage. This will pay for the repair to your home if it is damaged during a burglary. For example, it can pay for broken windows and damaged doors.
  • Personal property coverage. With this you pay to repair or replace your personal belongings if they are damaged or stolen. For example, if a thief knocks over an expensive lamp or steals your laptop.
  • Cover of other structures. This pays for repairs to free-standing structures on your property. For example, if your barn door is damaged in a burglary.

How much coverage do I have for burglary and theft?

The amount of coverage you have depends on your policy limits and the type of coverage. Coverage for your home and other structures is pretty 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 will be covered by your home coverage, minus your deductible.

Generally, the limit of coverage for personal property is set at 50% to 70% of the home’s coverage. For example, if you have $ 250,000 in home coverage and bought a policy that sets personal property coverage at 70%, your assets are covered up to $ 175,000.

But here’s where personal property coverage gets a little tricky. Certain types of items have so-called “sub-limits,” which means that you are only covered up to a certain amount, not your full limit on your personal property policy. For example, your policy may have a sub-limit of $ 1,500 on stolen jewelry. That means you are only covered up to that amount, even if the value of your stolen jewelry exceeds $ 1,500.

If you need more coverage for valuable items such as jewelry, artwork or musical instruments, you can “plan” it. For example, if you have a diamond ring worth $ 5,000, you can schedule 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: replacement costs versus actual cash value. When you purchase your home insurance, you have the choice between the two. Replacement costs are more expensive, but it will replace a stolen item with a brand new version. Actual cash value coverage only pays you the depreciated value of your assets – meaning you have to pay a lot of money yourself if you want to replace them with new items.

How do I submit an insurance claim for burglary and theft?

If you are a victim of burglary and theft, here are the first steps to take:

  • Report this to the police. You will likely need to provide the police report to your insurance company to make a claim.
  • Have emergency repairs done. If your door is broken open or a window is broken, have it repaired as soon as possible. Keep your receipts safe for reimbursement from your insurance company.
  • Take photos or videos of damage. Document areas of your home that have been damaged or where missing items have been stolen.
  • File a claim with your insurance company. The insurance advisor will review your policy, including applicable types of coverage, sub-limits, scheduled items and deductibles.

If personal belongings have been stolen, it is a good idea to provide your home insurance company with the following information if possible:

  • Where and when your item was purchased
  • The estimated value of your item
  • The make and model of your item

To verify the value of your stolen items, your insurance company may request:

  • Bank statements
  • Credit card statements
  • photos
  • Receipts
  • Serial numbers
  • Guarantees

One of the best ways to make a home insurance claim go as quickly and smoothly as possible is through making a home inventoryGood home inventory will help you keep track of your belongings and maximize your claim payment.

Home security appliances can help you save money

If you take steps to protect your home against theft, you may be able to get a discount on your home insurance. This could be:

  • Apply deadbolts to exterior doors
  • Install a burglar alarm that alerts the local police
  • Use smart or connected home technology with burglary alerts
  • Install security cameras, wireless motion sensors or doorbells with video cameras

Before you spend the money on a new home security system, it’s a good idea to speak with your homeowner’s insurance agent first to find out which systems qualify for a discount. You can also ask if you are already eligible for certain discounts. For example, discounts may be available if you live in a gated community protected by security guards, key-locked devices, or residence cards.

The cost of theft insurance claims has steadily declined since 2014, according to the October 2020 Home Trends Report from LexisNexis, a data analytics company. LexisNexis says this could be due to deterrents such as home security devices. Fifty-nine percent of the survey respondents said they own smart security equipment such as cameras and wireless motion sensors.

Sources for burglary and theft

If you are the victim of a burglary, resources may be available through it Crime Victims OfficeFor example, you may qualify for financial aid through the Federal Victims of Crime Act for expenses not covered by home insurance, such as medical services, mental health services, foregone wages, and other expenses.

Here is a state directory of it victim compensation programs

Frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Does home insurance cover property stolen from my car?

Home insurance covers personal belongings stolen from a car. For example, if a thief wipes your laptop, you can file a claim through your home insurance. But if a thief damages your car, make a claim through the comprehensive insurance part of your car policy.

Does Home Insurance Cover Stolen Money?

Although theft one problem covered by homeowners 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, notes and smart cards.

If you have large amounts of cash or other currencies that exceed the limits of your policy, it is a good idea to store them in a safe, secure location, such as a safe at a federally insured bank.

Does home insurance cover items stolen away from home?

Your home insurance covers theft of stolen property outside your home. For example, if you’re on vacation and someone steals your luggage from your hotel room, you can file a claim with your home insurance company.

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