What to do if you experience a home break in.
Home invasions can happen at anytime and to anyone. Our last blog we talked about how to prepare your home and yourself for a home break in. Now learn about what happens after a home is broken into and how home insurance claims work.
If you are not home when a break in occurs and you arrive to find your house broken into, do not enter your home immediately. Stay outside where you can safely avoid the burglar. Do not go into the house, the burglar could still be inside and could pose a threat to your safety. Call the police and provide them with details. They will send an officer to inspect the home and deem safe for entry. Until it is safe to do so, do not touch anything, this could disrupt criminal evidence. Once police have confirmed it is safe, if you have pets that were home, ensure that your pets are safe and unharmed.
If you are home when someone breaks into your house, seek a safe location immediately. If possible and safe to do so leave the premises. Avoid the burglar and do not confront or block exits. You cannot be certain whether the intruder has a weapon or not. Safety is your main priority and avoiding violence is imperative. When you are in a safe location, contact the police to alert them of the intrusion. Stay in a safe location until the police arrive.
Once police have arrived at the scene of the home invasion, a police report will need to be filed and the level of damage can be determined. If you were not home at the time of the break in, you can check with your neighbours to see if they noticed any suspicious activity around your property. If you have a monitored alarm system with cameras, ensure that footage is reviewed and provided to the police for the report. Take note of which items are missing from your home. In our blog which suggests precautions to take against home invasion, we recommended using a camera to take video or pictures of your rooms and belonging for an easy tally of valuables in your home. If the damage done to your home prevents you from staying at your house, ensure that you secure or barricade any doors or windows that were broken during the break in.
Once you have assessed the damage and stolen items, contact your insurance broker to notify them of the break in and to start a claim. Depending on the severity of damage, the size of the claim could mean a localized assessment of damage may be required.
A home invasion can be scary and stressful, we recommend checking with your broker to ensure your home and your valuables have the correct coverage in the event of an incident. This step can add peace of mind knowing you are properly protected if a home invasion where to occur.