Does My Home Insurance Cover a Break-in?
Your home is your sanctuary and getting robbed is usually very unsettling. If a thief breaks into your house and robs you, do you know how your home insurance would cover a break-in?
Home theft and break-ins happen more than we would like. Here’s what you need to know about home insurance policies when it comes to theft and some tips for what to do after a home break-in.
What is covered after a break-in?
Most home insurance policies provide protection against theft, break and enters, and burglaries.
Details are usually found under the property damage and theft section.
Typically, your home insurance helps replace or reimburse most personal belongings stolen during a break-in.
It will help cover the costs of repairing damaged areas of your home, too, such as doors, windows, and other entry points up to your policy limits. Additional damage caused by burglars while in your home may also be covered, such as damage to landscaping.
It’s essential to have an accurate inventory of your possessions and their approximate values to help move along the claims process.
Additional living expenses (ALE) or loss of use expenses may help pay for additional living expenses, such as hotel stays, meals, and other necessary costs while your home is repaired, in extreme cases.
These common personal belongings will typically be covered:
- TV, stereo
- Laptops, tablets, smartphones
- Clothing including jackets and shoes
Check your home insurance policy to know what is covered and your specific policy limits.
What role does your deductible play?
A deductible is the amount you must pay out of pocket before your insurance coverage kicks in. Be sure to understand your deductible amount and how it applies to theft-related claims.
Limitations on valuables may exist for certain high-value items, such as jewelry, art, or collectibles. If you have especially valuable items, you will need to purchase additional coverage or a rider to ensure they are adequately protected.
Top tips for what to do after a break-in
Ensure your safety: If you’re at home when the break-in occurs, prioritize your safety and the safety of others in the residence. Avoid confronting the intruder directly if it puts you at risk. If you can do so safely, leave your home, and go to a neighbor's house or a safe location nearby. If you're already outside, do not enter the home if you suspect someone has broken in.
Call the police: Call 911 as soon as possible to report the break-in. Provide the dispatcher with as much information as possible, such as a description of the intruder, the time of the incident, and any other relevant details.
Don’t touch anything: Avoid touching anything in your home until the police arrive. Your fingerprints could contaminate important evidence.
Make a list of stolen items: Once it's safe to do so, make a list of items you believe are missing. Include descriptions and approximate values if possible. This information will be helpful for both the police report and insurance purposes. If you were able to make a list of valuables as a preventative measure, it’ll come in handy now! Have it ready to go.
Did you know?
There are steps you can take to prevent and prepare for home burglaries when going on vacation. Read more: https://westernfinancialgroup.ca/Does-Homeowners-Insurance-Cover-Theft
Cooperate with law enforcement: When the police arrive, provide them with all the information you have and cooperate fully with their investigation. If you have any surveillance footage, share that with the police. Remember to stay calm and keep your communication as clear as possible - the robbery has already happened, so panic will only muddle your communication and slow down the process.
Enhance security measures: After the incident, consider improving your home's security, such as installing better locks, security cameras, or an alarm system. We’ve compiled a guide to securing your home here.
Contact your insurance company:
Contact your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance provider to report the theft and start the claims process. Provide them with the police report and any other documentation they may require. It’s a good idea to keep a record of important valuables around your house such as TVs, jewelry, and electronics, along with receipts that prove their worth. This will speed up the claims process and help you get better coverage in an emergency.
Home insurance policies typically provide coverage for theft and burglary, but the specific coverage details can vary depending on the policy and the insurance provider.
Limitations on Valuables may exist for certain high-value items, such as jewelry, art, or collectibles. If you have especially valuable items, you will need to purchase additional coverage or a rider to ensure they are adequately protected.
Hot tip: Review your insurance policy carefully, understand the terms and conditions, and communicate with your insurance provider to clarify any uncertainties. Additionally, consider periodically reviewing and updating your coverage to ensure it meets your current needs, especially if you acquire new valuable items.