It is anyone’s worst nightmare. Coming home after a long day at work or an evening out to find the door ajar or a window broken. There are clear signs of forced entry – it’s obvious that there has been a burglary.
In those initial moments of shock and horror, it’s difficult to know what to do. Should you venture inside and inspect the damage, or stay far away until you are certain it’s safe? Here’s our advice on the steps you need to take if there has been a burglary in your home…
Call the police immediately
As soon as you are aware that someone has been in your house without your permission, call the police. Do not touch anything or inspect the damage (this can tamper with vital evidence necessary to catch the perpetrators) and do not try to go inside (if you haven’t already). At this stage, the intruders might still be inside and disturbing them puts your safety at risk. While you wait for the authorities to arrive, stay in a secure location like a locked car or with a neighbour.
Assess the damage after a burglary
When the police arrive, work with them to determine what (if anything) has been taken. Be as thorough as possible in your investigation and consider what valuable items you might have visible in your home that would be easy to take, such as jewellery, cash or small electricals, and that you might not immediately think to miss. Take a note of any damaged items too, like broken locks, smashed glass, etc.
Contact your insurance company
Once you are aware of the level of theft and damage after a burglary, contact your insurance company. It is helpful to have a list of what has been stolen and what damage will need repaired. Your insurer will work with you to pick up the pieces and arrange appropriate cover, depending on the policy you have in place. Abbey offer customers a Home Emergency policy, which will provide assistance to repair damage quickly or prevent further damage to your home, making sure your home is safe and secure. Home Emergency Cover operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, allowing you to call when at any time.
Secure and tidy your home
As soon as the police investigation is over and your insurance provider has been notified, get your home back to normal. Secure any broken doors or windows, and tidy away debris. Being burgled can be quite an emotional shock and getting things back to normal helps to cope with the likely anxiety afterwards.
The last thing you want after a burglary is for it to happen again. If you live in a remote, less-travelled area, consider investing in security flood lights across the property and surrounding land to keep an eye on suspicious activity. Install a small CCTV unit if possible – even the sight of this can be enough of a deterrent, and many attempted burglaries are thwarted by the presence of a four-legged furry friend. For those living in high-traffic areas, install a simple alarm system which can alert your neighbours in the event of a break-in.
Abbey Insurance Brokers
For more information, please contact one of our expert home insurance advisors on 08000 66 55 44. They will work with you to ensure that the coverage you have in place will protect you in the event that the worst happens.