How To Claim From Your Home Insurance After A Burglary

Apr 3, 2023 | Property

Burglary is among the most common crimes that affect South African households, with burglary at residential premises jumping from 35 949 reported incidents (July – September 2021) to 40 550 (July – September 2022). That’s a 12.8% increase, and that’s only what’s reported.

We all know that crime is a real threat in South Africa, which is why it makes sense to do what you can to protect yourself, your loved ones, and your belongings. For some, this could mean relocating to an area where crime isn’t as prevalent. For everyone, though, it means investing in protective measures, like home security and home insurance.

After all, it’s not only disheartening to lose your valuable assets from your home – a place that’s supposed to be a sanctuary – but it’s often a financial burden.

The Logic Behind Home Insurance

Depending on the level of cover you have and the insurer you go with, your home insurance policy will cover incidents of burglary and theft. Just keep in mind that not all ‘home insurance’ policies are the same. You might think that you have the right cover and only end up finding out when you claim that you don’t.

For instance, you might have buildings insurance which is a type of home insurance that covers the structure of your home (not the things inside it). This means that you can’t claim for something like a stolen TV but you could claim for damage to the walls, floors and doors as a result of the break-in. For the TV (and other items actually in your home), you’d need home contents insurance.

Home contents is the policy you’d claim from for the stuff in your home, like your fridge, TV, furniture, electrical appliances and clothing. And if you want any of these items to be covered while they’re out and about with you, you’ll need portable possessions insurance – ideal for items like handbags, devices, and jewellery.

How To Claim After A Burglary

You walk into your home and you realise… someone has been inside and they’ve made off with your TV and several other expensive items, so you call the police. But what do you next?

Here’s what you do next:

  1. Report the crime to the police
    You might not feel like reporting the incident to the police, but actually, this is an insurance requirement. If you want to claim, you’ll need a reference or case number from the SAPS.
  2. Take photos or video footage
    Your insurer may require additional evidence of the burglary, so take pictures or even video footage of the break-in.
  3. Call your insurer
    You may have damaged doors, locks or windows, which would be unsafe to leave in this state, so no doubt you’ll want to get emergency repairs done. Before you put in a call to the relevant contractors, alert your insurer. You’ll need to call in your claim within 24 hours, generally speaking, so contact your insurer and tell them what has happened.

You can then confirm with them if you can press ahead with emergency repairs.

They may ask you to let them send their own parties or they may simply ask that you keep records of any expenses related to the emergency repairs safe to enable you to claim later.

  1. Get emergency repairs done
    If you have the go ahead from your insurer, and the police have finished gathering information, you can continue with organising emergency repairs.
  2. Gather everything your insurer needs
    Insurance companies all have their own ways of processing a claim. For instance, they may send a loss adjuster to investigate your claim. Typically, though, they all require certain documents and information.

For example, you’ll need to provide your name, ID number and residential address, the police case or reference number, your policy details (policy number, usually), a list of items damaged or stolen and their estimated value, details about the items (like the brand, make model, serial numbers, invoices, etc.), and even an alarm report – if an alarm is a requirement of your policy.

Once you’ve provided everything that your insurer has asked for, it’s time to let them do their jobs and assess your claim. You should be kept up-to-date on the progress of your claim and given an expected timeline, but don’t hesitate to call them if you’re anxious or haven’t heard back.

Stay Safe With Home Insurance

The last thing you want after a hard day’s work is to come home, ready to kick off the day and relax on the couch, only to find that you’ve been robbed. Thankfully, if you have home insurance, you can claim for stolen, damaged, or lost items from your policy.
Don’t have home insurance? No problem.

Simply click here to get home contents insurance quotes from the AA Insurance Supermarket so you can compare and choose the right, most affordable policy for you.

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