Theft and Burglary Insurance: Peace of Mind and Pocket

Having your home broken into elicits a profound sensation of violation and loss. Frequently it isn't simply about the loss of the material things, it's about knowing that some stranger was rifling through your belongings, which are often viewed as an extension of yourself, and that nothing is sacred anymore. Although there is no remedy for that loss of innocence, at least there are ways to recoup your actual losses, through burglary insurance.

Theft Coverage in Your Homeowner's Policy

Typically, your homeowner's insurance will have a section devoted to theft and burglary of your premises. When you went through the application process with the homeowner's insurance company, they likely required you to perform an exhaustive inventory on your home's contents. The reason for this is simple: should you ever have a burglary or home invasion, they need to know what was taken, so they can replace it adequately. If you didn't fill out the inventory well or keep it updated frequently, you may run into problems with replacing important items in the event of theft.

When Burglary Happens

Home break-ins and burglaries are common, especially during the summer when vacationers are away, leaving their homes empty. If you become the victim of a break-in, the first calls to make need to be to the police and your insurance agency. Don't touch anything, so as not to contaminate the scene. The police and your insurance adjustor will inspect the premises and ask for a list of missing items—here is where the inventory would come in handy. In a few days to weeks' time you will receive the insurance company's decision, regarding what and how they will replace the items.

A Silver Lining

Despite the inconvenience and heartache of a burglary, there is a ray of light, superficial though it may seem: new stuff! Insurers replace items on a new for old basis, meaning that even if the TV the thieves stole was old, the insurance company will pay for a new one, of a comparable make and model. Again, this is why a yearly update to the home inventory is so vital, to ensure that the coverage that has been paid for is received. Normally the homeowner's insurance company will require yearly updates on all other items as well, so consider it as part of that routine.

What about the Car?

Burglars also often break into cars while making a clean sweep of a home, especially if there are GPS systems, nice radios, etc. Normally, you'd think that these items would be covered by auto insurance, but this isn't the case. Auto insurance covers the car itself and items attached to the car, such as rims. Any personal items stolen from the car will be covered by the homeowner policy, although if the car was away from the home it will be at a rate of about 10% of the normal value at home. Also, deductibles are expensive, so it is often better to cut your losses in regards to the car.

Theft and burglary insurance, as part of a homeowner's policy, is invaluable in the event that the unthinkable happens. Although replacement of the material goods stolen won't replace the sentimental items, it is still comforting to know that things aren't a total loss. It is possible to move on after a burglary, and insurance makes it easier.