A standard homeowners insurance policy may provide coverage against break-ins or burglary. In fact, there are at least two parts of your homeowners insurance policy which can apply to this kind of peril, these two are personal property coverage and dwelling coverage.
- Personal Property Coverage – Your personal property coverage means the cost of replacing or repairing any belongings that are stolen or damaged will be covered.
- Dwelling Coverage – Covers the cost of replacement or repairs to dwelling/structure damage. In most standard homeowners insurance, burglary and theft is a covered peril. So if an intruder breaks your door down by kicking it or breaks a window using a heavy object, a dwelling coverage will cover the cost of the damage.
What You Need To Do In Case of A Burglary
No homeowner ever wants to experience a burglary or break-ins. However, if you do experience a burglary in your home it is important to take these simple steps to keep yourself safe and to aid your insurance company to pay for the repairs.
1. Notify the police
Your first task is to contact the authorities immediately. If you come home or wake up to a mess, broken items, broken windows, and missing belongings, you must immediately call law enforcement. If you think that the criminal is still inside your home, immediately leave or lock yourself in a safe room and contact 911.
According to statistics, an estimated 50 percent of break-ins are not even reported because homeowners feel that the missing items or damages are not considered big. In some cases, people are assume that the missing items will never be returned anyway. However, in order to file a claim, your insurance company will ask for a police report. Additionally, reporting a crime will help your local police gather data and monitor your area better.
2. Take Photos
According to insurance experts, most homeowners may never recover missing items due to burglary, however, taking photos and listing them down will help the police do their job faster. Make sure to take your time to check the house for missing or damage items. Take photos to be submitted to your insurance company for the assessment of costs. If you have the serial numbers of your missing items, this will also be helpful in locating them.
3. Contact your provider
Once you file the police report and you have the photos and the list of missing items ready, make sure to contact your insurance company immediately. It is very likely that they will send an insurance adjuster to help work with you to manage your claims.
Tips in Speeding Up the Claims Process
Even before you sign up to a homeowners insurance for your property, make sure you understand the ins and outs of the policy. Review the terms and limits of your coverage as these are important parts that may determine the amount of your claim. One of the things you need to understand is if your personal property coverage or dwelling coverage are based on actual cash value or replacement value.
In replacement value, depreciation cost will not matter. For example, if your television unit was stolen during a burglary, your insurance company will replace your TV unit even if it was an older model. In an actual cash value policy, depreciation cost will be factored in so it is very likely that you will get less.
Always keep an inventory of the belongings inside your home. In the event that these belongings are damaged or stolen, it is easy for you to keep track of your items.
What Your Homeowners Insurance Policy Will Not Cover During A Burglary
There will also be times when your homeowners insurance will not cover specific items that are damaged or lost during a burglary.
- Any excess amount that is specified in your policy.
- Precious items like gold or silver articles, precious stones and metals, coins, sculptures, rare books and rare collections.
- Loss or damage due to loot, sack, pilferage, etc.
- Loss or damage due to wear and tear
- Unexplained damages or losses due to omissions or errors
- Theft or burglary from open spaces such as the deck, garden, yards, etc.
- Lost or damage that is directly or indirectly due to arising from any destruction, corruption, or distortion.
- Goods held in trust including jewelry, cash, title deeds, business books, unless they are specifically insured.
- Loss or damage due directly or indirectly to acts of war or terrorism.
- Loss or damage due to a breach of trust or misfeasance by the insured.
- Loss or damage directly or indirectly due to nuclear weapon material.
- Loss or damage to plates, glass, or any decoration thereon.
- A homeowners policy may or may not cover luxury items like expensive electronics or jewelry. If you have these inside your home make sure to get a specific coverage for it.