It’s been a long day. You just want to get home and relax.
But when you get to your front door…it’s clear something’s wrong. The door is cracked open. The drawers in your kitchen have been pulled out. And if you listen closely, you can hear a sound coming from the second floor.
Coming home to a burglary can be frightening and dealing with the aftermath of a break-in can feel almost as daunting.
There’s a lot more to it than just calling the police and filing a theft claim. Bucks County homeowners who are faced with a break-in should follow these steps in the aftermath of a burglary.
1. Alert the authorities
If you’ve come home to a burglary, call 911 right away.
Don’t go inside. The burglar might still be in your house. Find a safe spot to wait for the police, such as a neighbor’s or maybe a friendly local business.
If the break-in happens while you’re at home, get yourself and your family somewhere safe, then call the police as soon as you can. When investigators arrive, try to give them as much info as possible.
2. Are the pets OK?
If the burglar forced open a door or window to get into your home, your dog or cat might have run for safety. Track down your four-legged family member and keep them safe while you wait for the police to do their work.
3. Make a record
Go through every room of your home and take pictures. Write down what’s missing or broken and note anything else you can think of about the break-in. You’ll need as much info as you can put together to file your theft claim.
Bucks County residents, don’t wait to do this. Even though you’ll likely never forget something as traumatic as a burglary, your memory of the incident can change or get fuzzy as time goes by.
4. Contact your bank and insurance agent
Talk to your insurance company as soon as you can. Your agent can direct you on the best way to note missing items, document the damage to your home and file your Bucks County theft claim.
And if you’ve had your credit or debit cards stolen, or if the thieves have somehow accessed your personal information, call your bank and other financial institutions to have them cancel or put a hold on your accounts.
5. Talk to your neighbors
Your neighbors are probably wondering why there are police cars outside your house. Let them know what happened so they can be on the lookout. Thieves will often target an entire neighborhood.
Your neighbors may have also seen something that could help police track down the burglar. If you’re not able to go door-to-door, widen the net by posting on social media.
6. Think about security
Was it easy for thieves to get into your home? It may be time to upgrade your home security. Once the police and your insurance company give you the OK to clean up your home and fix your broken locks, take the time to think about what security measures you have and what you can do to enhance them.
How can a public adjuster help with my Bucks County theft claim?
Theft cases account for a significant percentage of Bucks County homeowners insurance claims. It’s also one of the most complicated claims.
Other types of incidents leave behind damaged property for inspection, but when something is stolen, it’s harder to document. You might find yourself clashing with your insurance company as you try to prove that something you owned has been stolen.
It’s also hard to determine the market value of some objects, which can lead an insurance company to offer you less than what is fair.
This is where the public adjusters at Interstate Public Adjusters can help. We can review your Bucks County theft claim and act as your advocate if you think your insurance company isn’t treating you fairly.
We’ll work with you to make sure you get the settlement you deserve after such a trying time.