Most people do not expect that they will be victimized by a robbery, burglary or other theft from their home. While this false sense of security might be reassuring, FBI crime statistics suggest the risk is greater than the typical homeowner or business owner might assume. According to crime data from the FBI, four theft or burglary offenses occur every minute in the U.S. If you have homeowners insurance or commercial coverage, your insurance generally will cover such claims though the process can be confusing. This blog provides an overview of the claims process if your business or home is burglarized.
Anticipating the Unexpected: Protecting Your Property from Theft
The initial step in preparing to make an insurance claim following a theft of your home is to be meticulous about keeping records and receipts. When you purchase items, you should save documents and records that prove you purchased an item as well as the cost of the purchase. This record keeping should be supported by preparation of an inventory of your personal property. The inventory will be more useful if it is grouped by value, location in your home and category. All items under your Coverage C Insurance should be listed which includes:
- Weapons like firearms and knives
- Major appliances like ranges, ovens, and refrigerators
- Items used infrequently such as gardening tools, sporting equipment & holiday displays
- Collectibles, antiques, valuable art and jewelry
- Consumer electronics including desktops computers, video games systems, laptops, tablets, iPads, and flat screen televisions
The written inventory of these items should be supplemented by a video record. When you prepare this form of written and video record of your personal property supported by receipts, credit card statements or other evidence of the cost, your insurance claims process should proceed relatively smoothly. This evidence should be safeguarded in a fire box or a safety deposit box. If your insurer still balks at paying the full value of your claim, you will have preserved the evidence a Florida insurance claims attorney will need to pursue a favorable outcome through alternate dispute resolution (ADR) or a lawsuit.
Steps to Take Immediately Following a Commercial or Residential Burglary
If you are victimized by a burglary, the actions you take in the immediate aftermath of the crime can significantly impact the settlement of your claim. The following steps are important:
- Contact the police and prepare a formal report
- Create an inventory of property taken or damaged
- Notify your insurance company of the burglary and your loss
- Document any structural or personal property damage with photos or video
- Review your insurance policy and the report prepared by police
- Cooperate with requests by the insurer for access to inspect the property or requests for documentation
- Talk to an experienced Miami insurance attorney if you are confronted with challenges by the insurance, or you have questions
If you have questions about Florida insurance theft claims, you are welcome to contact my Miami insurance claims dispute law firm. My law firm represents policyholders in claims disputes in Miami and throughout Florida. The Law Firm of J.P. Gonzalez-Sirgo, P.A. offers free consultations and case evaluations. No Recovery, No Lawyer Fees. Call 305-461-1095 or Toll Free 1-866-71-CLAIM.