Have you ever thought about how secure your home is when you’re away from it? Is it possibly an easy target for thieves?
Because the long-awaited Spring has finally sprung, the days are getting longer. The warmer weather means more outdoor fun and less time at home. As exciting as this may sound, it doesn’t go without risks – a vacant home is an easier target for thieves.
The last thing you want after a good day out with loved ones is to discover that your home has been broken into; the shock and financial loss could be enough to cripple you mentally and leave you feeling helpless.
Should you find yourself a victim of a break in, consider these tips to help you deal with the situation:
- Secure your safety and call the police:Your safety is a priority! If you realise that your house may have been broken into, ensure that the intruders are not still inside and if it’s safe to go in – where possible, ask security personnel to accompany you. If you suspect that the intruders could still be in the house, avoid going into the house. Find a place of safety and contact the police immediately. Don’t touch anything from the scene until the police arrive and inspect the crime scene.
- Speak to your neighbours:Speaking to your neighbours or any potential witnesses could help you gather information for the police and your home insurance provider, as someone may have seen something. By doing this, you are not only helping yourself, you’re also helping others by alerting them on the criminal activity in the area. The more people know about the crime, the more they will be vigilant to suspicious looking characters.
- Make notes:You may be in shock from the discovery, however, there will be information that will be requested from you by the police and your insurer. Writing down everything is advisable in order to document the incident (your discovery and what witnesses say) and what seems to have been stolen. Taking pictures of the crime scene is another way to collect useful information and evidence. Whatever you do, don’t touch, move or clean up anything until the police give you the go-ahead.
- Let your insurer know:If your home is insured (which we hope it is), you will need to contact your insurer and inform them of the incident. This is also where the notes you took will come in handy. Provide your insurer with the list of missing items for your home insurance Don’t be tempted to add additional items that you didn’t actually own to your claim as this is considered insurance fraud.
- Consider your home’s security shortfalls and beef them up:Taking note of how the intruders gained access will assist you in identifying the areas in your security that could be lacking and creating a security risk. In doing this, you will know how to beef up your security. Burglars mostly target homes where there are weak security spots. Remember to inform your insurer of any security upgrades as this may affect your risk profile and insurance premium.
Being a victim of a break-in is not only an unpleasant experience, it can also leave you feeling violated and unsafe in your own home. Dealing with the loss of your valuables should not be another stressful process either. After all, your belongings are often accumulated over years, which is why it’s inevitable that you take the best care possible to ensure that if anything goes wrong, you’ll be able to replace them.
To protect yourself, check your home and contents insurance policy to ensure that you are adequately covered.