Insurance Blog
Monday, 11 July 2016 16:00

Don’t Give Burglars Easy Access to Your Home

Burglar breaking into home

When you go on vacation this Summer, remember these top tips to keep your home from becoming a target of burglars.

1) Stop your paper and hold your mail

2) Make sure you set timers on your lights or invest in motion detectors to give your home a ‘lived-in’ look.

3) Have a neighbor or friend check on your home periodically and pick up any flyers that have been left at your front door.

4) Do not post vacation pictures on social media until you are home.

Here are some additional tips from a Trusted Choice article by Jennifer A. DiGiovanni:

Recent reports of burglars stealing garage door openers from unlocked cars and returning later to gain keyless entry into a home has individuals becoming more vigilant about concealing or locking up the small devices. Other tactics used by burglars include using a coat hanger to jimmy a garage door’s release string and breaking into back doors hidden from neighbors.

Easy Ways to Discourage Burglars

In addition to keeping car doors locked, you can increase home security by making other small changes to discourage would-be thieves. Burglars often target dark, silent homes. Motion detecting lights that switch on when someone approaches your house will scare off intruders. Light timers set to activate when you’re away after dark also help disguise an empty home. Make sure you clear a sight line from the street to your house, which helps neighbors detect strangers lurking around your property. If you’re an animal lover, dogs are another great deterrent for burglars. The sound of barking is often enough to encourage a would-be thief to pass over a noisy house in favor of a quieter one.

Spend More on Security and Save on Homeowners Insurance

According to Paul Martin, CPCU and CAP State Association Liaison, two security features which net home owners a discount on their insurance premiums are centrally monitored home security systems and gated communities. To qualify for a reduced premium, a monitored security system must be tracked off-site to ensure someone is available to contact the home owner and the police during an alarm event. Posting signs on your property indicating that your home is in fact monitored is another visual deterrent for burglars. Gated communities restricting nonresident access are a strong deterrent to burglars looking to make a quick getaway, and insurance companies will discount insurance premiums for home owners in those types of neighborhoods.

What to Do if You Are a Victim of a Burglary

If you return home and find evidence of a break-in, the first thing you should do is file a police report. The police will walk through your home, collect evidence and begin an investigation. After the police report is filed, you will be asked to take an inventory and list everything that was taken from your home. Documentation in the form of original receipts works best, but if you no longer have that information, just an inventory of items and projected replacement cost serves as good starting point when filing an insurance claim.

Know What Is Covered If a Burglar does Break In

According to the FBI’s most recent burglary statistics, the average dollar loss in a home break-in amounts to just over $2,000. Yet, home owners can take comfort knowing insurance does cover theft loss, with some exceptions. Actual cash and coins are limited to $200 in losses, and jewelry is also generally limited to a specific amount unless a separate insurance rider or policy has been purchased. Also, paper documents, including security certificates and savings bonds, are limited to $1,500 in losses.

Other limited items homeowners might not consider when initially arranging homeowners insurance include watercraft (in the event a burglar walks off with your favorite canoe or kayak), car trailers, sterling silver or platinum items, and firearms. Collectors of high-value items like stamps, coins or art will require a separate endorsement for full coverage.

If you run a business from your house, you should also be aware of special loss limitations. For self-employed individuals working out of the home, business items will be limited to $2,500 in losses. Items classified as business items include copiers, printers, or even inventory stored in your residence.

Understanding Replacement Cost

 

As long as an item does not fall under a specific exception or exclusion, insurance policies generally pay out the replacement cost of an item to a claimant. Sentimental items may not have high monetary value, so it is important to keep these treasures in a secure location. Photo albums, family heirlooms and other objects passed down from generation to generation may be irreplaceable. It’s important to remember this when selecting pieces to place in a safe or safe deposit box.

Read 1311 times Last modified on Monday, 11 July 2016 21:26

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