According to a survey of the national crime league, published in the Irish Examiner, each 19 minutes a burglary is committed in Ireland where the average value of goods stolen is 1,868 Euros. The Central Statistics Office indicates that there were a total of 28,706 burglaries or burglary-related offences in 2012 – an increase of 7.9 per cent on the previous year. These figures could be worrying for many homeowners, as a burglary can be costly, frightening and deeply upsetting.
We have prepared an emergency list of 10 steps to follow if you are a victim of burglary. They’ll help keep you and your family safe, while giving you the very best chance of making a successful insurance claim.
10-point burglary checklist:
- If you find that your home has been burgled, it’s important to call the Police straightaway.
- If you suspect that the burglar may still be inside your property, call the Police from a mobile or from a neighbour’s phone.
- Don’t start to clean up or move anything until the Police have had chance to inspect the scene, or you could be damaging vital evidence. They are likely to send specialist officers who will take a statement from you, as well as photographs and fingerprints.
- Ask for the reference number of the crime, you might need it later when filling in documentation .
- If your bank or credit cards have been taken, call their emergency number and have them stopped. These services are open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so don’t delay. If any important documents are missing, such as your passport, report that too.
- Contact an insurance Loss Assessor, like Clearys Loss Assessors. This is the best way of ensuring you receive a full and fair settlement from your insurers.
- As their first priority, your loss assessor will send out approved contractors and locksmiths to secure your property. They will board up any broken windows and replace any damaged locks. They are your friends and will help you deal with the stressful situation.
- Check your home for damage and start to make a list of items that are missing. If possible include model and serial numbers, as well as any purchase receipts you have. Give this list to your loss assessor, who will assist you in preparing an inventory of all lost and damaged items for presentation to your insurers.
- Your loss assessor will then contact your insurance company on your behalf, making them aware of the burglary and giving them your crime number and inventory. They will then act on your behalf throughout your burglary insurance claim.
- Once the Police have concluded their enquiries, it’s worth reviewing the security of your home. If you don’t already have them, fit locks to your windows and security bolts to your doors. You might also consider installing a burglar alarm.