A break-in at your property can be an extremely traumatic experience. Having an intruder come into your home can make you feel violated, and to top it off there’s a good chance some of your possessions will be taken which can cause a lot of sadness and anger, particularly if these items had sentimental value.
If you’re unfortunate enough to experience a burglary, there are some steps you should take in the aftermath. Following these steps will not only help you deal with the situation well, but it’ll also ensure you and your property are better prepared in future. To help you overcome this unpleasant experience, here are our tips for dealing with a break-in at your property.
Check the property
Ensure the intruder is no longer in the property. If you suspect they’re still inside, get you and your family out of there immediately. In many cases, burglars may be carrying weapons in case they’re caught, so if they’ve not yet exited your property make sure you and anyone you’re with get to a safe place away from the property.
Call the police
As soon as you realise you’ve been broken into, call the police. As a burglary isn’t classed as an emergency it may take a while for someone to come and deal with the incident so call them as soon as you can. Once they arrive, they’ll ask a number of questions and start their investigation.
The police will try to ascertain how the burglary has taken place, what the burglar has taken and how they can be traced. Forensics may also examine your property for fingerprints and other clues that point to the offender’s identity, so if you want the intruder caught and justice served then it’s essential you call the police.
Call your insurer
Once you’ve reported the burglary to the police and you have your crime reference number, it’s time to call your home insurance provider. They will take down all the details of the incident such as how the intruder gained access to your home, what was taken and what the police have discussed with you. Make a list of everything missing to make sure you don’t forget anything.
They may also speak to the police officer involved in the investigation, so it’s vitally important you’re honest about everything. Don’t try to embellish your story or leave out details to back-up your case as this may invalidate your claim at a later date. Be open and honest and give the claim handler any information they require. There’s a decent chance you will be shaken up by the ordeal, so it’s always a good idea to grab a pen and paper to jot down anything important, that way if you forget anything you’ll have it written down to remind you.
Protect your home
Depending on how the intruder gained access to your home, it may be time to shore up your property. If they took advantage of a loose window or dodgy lock, don’t allow another opportunist the chance to get inside your home again. As well as strong locks, there are a number of ways you can make your home more secure. These include security lights, surveillance cameras and video doorbells, and when combined these will create a powerful deterrent for any would-be intruder.
Get cover if you don’t already have it
If you’ve had a break-in and you don’t already have home insurance, by now it’s probably dawned on you just how important it is to have cover. Home insurance will ensure that in the event your possessions are stolen, they’ll either be replaced, or you’ll be credited their value. While this may not fully account for the loss of sentimental items, it’s certainly reassuring to know the monetary value of your household items is covered at least.