We all hope it never happens, but statistics have revealed that confirmed residential robberies occur every 23 minutes in South Africa. This figure amounts to approximately 22 261 residential burglaries each year (conservatively speaking). What should you do if your home has been burgled?
The following steps can help you manage the aftermath of a break-in successfully.
- Call your Security Company and the Police
Although this might sound like a no brainer, your instinct could cause you act differently in the heat of the moment. But getting your security company and the police involved immediately is really important. If you think the burglar might still be inside, leave your home immediately and do not confront the criminal. If you feel safe going into the home, do not touch anything as this could destroy valuable evidence. Instead, take pictures of the damage done by the intruder – this could be useful to the police and insurance claim company.
- Determine what is Missing
Conduct a thorough assessment of your home to find out what is missing. This may include items such as your credit card which can be used for personal identity theft. Often there will be items that you don’t notice are missing until much later, ensure that when you open your docket with the police officer on scene, that they make note that this is estimated loss and there could be other items added in your comprehensive report to your insurance company. Follow up with the police station where your docket is registered to get the CAS number for your insurance claim. If there is any footage of the crime, ensure that you have a copy to give to the insurance company and a copy for yourself, evidence can go missing and you don’t want to fall victim again.
- File an Insurance Claim
Go through your insurance policy to see what you can claim for following a burglary. Although you may think some low value items should not be included, you may discover there are provisions for such. Keep a record of every stolen or damaged item and following the submission of your request to the insurance company, an adjuster or investigator would be assigned to run checks in your home to verify your claims. Co-operate with your insurer and be ready to provide explanations for specific questions they might have.
- Secure your Home
Securing your home again as quickly as possible is the next vital step. After the police have left, ensure you get damaged windows and doors fixed so you can feel secure again. Change the locks if keys have gone missing or have been stolen, damaged locks should be replaced with good quality locks, especially if they are external doors or gates. Give Jay a call on 082 651 6416, and he will personally assist you with your request.