Here’s the sequel to the first post about burglary, sorry it took a while – I’ve been busy getting distracted and posting stuff about food instead 😛
OK So if you’ve been burgled, the first thing you make sure to do is to leave everything exactly as it is!
1. Do not touch anything in case the burglars have left finger prints.
2. Take pictures of everything so you have proof of the state of your house right after burglary (good for statement with police and insurance claim)
3. Ring the police.
4. Ring your insurance company.
5. Have a cup of tea, talk to your neighbour and find out if they heard anything during the day or seen anything suspicious to get a time frame for when it happened.
6. Call and arrange for a locksmith to change/improve your locks and get a security company to help ensure you have all methods of security in place for your home and your budget which is compliant with your insurance policy.
You’ll be in shock when you get home after your house has been burgled. So to help, just methodically go through the list above and in the following weeks, go through the list below.
The police took forever (approx 4 hours) to get there and they only took a statement. We had to wait until the next day before forensics came to check for fingerprints and we had to leave the flat in its state the entire time which we both agreed was more stressful than getting burgled! So, just be aware that it might be in your face for a little while but once forensics has attended, you can pretty much clean up and throw away your empty boxes (ie the ones that once had all your valuables in them).
List stolen items
As you go through the empty boxes, start listing down all the things that used to be in them. Go through your place methodically putting things away but also noting down everything that’s missing as you go along. You want to make sure you have a decent description including style numbers, brand, model numbers, colour etc.
Once you’ve got the list, it’s time to find evidence of owning all those things so look for photos of you holding / wearing those items, receipts of purchase and for stolen cash, provide some withdrawal slips. For mobile phones make sure you get their IMEI and Device Serial numbers (usually on the box or you can be clever and get these off your phone and store those details somewhere else long before they get stolen – both the police and the Insurance company will want this).
For everything on your list, find their equivalent (either exactly the same thing or closest you can find) online and get all the prices and list them down next to each item. This will let you know pretty much how much you’re going to claim on insurance.
This comprehensive list will also help your insurance company work out how much to compensate you and they can easily categorise what they will and will not be able to replace based on your policy.
Make your insurance claim
The important thing to note is to take your time. The insurance company tends to rush you into making a claim however there is a chance you submit your claim and then a little down the track look for something and realise that it was stolen too! You won’t be able to add this onto your claim. Once your claim has been submitted, it’s final. So take your time, make sure you have everything on there and just double check everything before you submit your claim. Include your list, your proof of ownership and your pricing.
Everything was pretty straight forward after that – the insurance company was really good with us and very clear about what we could and could not claim, what they would and would not pay for and the limits they had on items and also what they could and could not replace (all items they couldn’t replace they gave a cash equivalent for).
Enjoy your new stuff
There’s really nothing left to do after that except to let go of the old and embrace the new. Just know that you haven’t lost anything – it simply changed form 🙂
Oh… and the all important thing and probably the lesson we needed to learn the most – be grateful for what you have (including insurance) because no matter how little you think you have, you have more than you know!