Home contents insurance helps provide homeowners with peace of mind for their valuables. Any homeowner or renter has dealt with the fear of leaving the house and leaving their possessions inside. What if someone breaks in? Who do you call if things get damaged or stolen? What do you do when there’s been a burglary in your home?
These are all very normal, and very valid concerns. That’s what makes home/building insurance and home contents insurance so highly recommended.
If you’ve recently been the victim of a burglary or are just researching to be prepared, we’re here to help! Let’s review the process of making a claim when your possessions have been stolen or damaged.
Step 1. Don’t move anything!
We know it’s tempting to reach down to pick up and touch anything that’s out of place or broken, but don’t do it. Take pictures and videos of everything first. From the break-in location to any other evidence you can see.
These details are very important when it comes to the home contents insurance policy.
Step 2: Report the crime to the police
Phone SAPS immediately to report the crime, the number is 10111. You can also go down to your local police station to file the report. They’ll advise you on the process of what to do. Show your photos and videos of evidence to the police for the case. They may also send an investigator with you to your house to view the damages and gather further evidence.
You’ll need the police report for your insurance claim, so it’s best to get this done first.
Step 3: Contact your insurer
Now it’s time to contact your insurance provider to file a claim. They’ll ask you a few questions about the stolen or damaged property and you must answer truthfully.
The claim process varies from insurer to insurer. Here’s a basic overview of what you can expect.
They’ll request documents from you such as:
- The police report
- Bank statements
They’ll arrange for a validator to come to assess the damage and will let you know what happens next. Remember to notify them of any special security measures you have in place and ask questions about anything you’re unsure of.
Step 4: Making the claim
If all goes well and the validator has approved the claim, then all that is left to do is wait. Leave it up to your insurer to contact you with the details of costs and the claim payout process.
They’ll let you know if they are going to pay out cash, or repair and replace the stolen and/or damaged items.
The time it takes for them to get back to you depends on the day you filed the report and made the claim. For example, if you do it on a Friday or weekend, you’ll probably have to wait for the next business working day. If there are public holidays coming up, that could also delay the process a bit.
If you come home one day to see your house has been broken into and possessions have been stolen, call the police immediately! Do not touch or move anything, as there could be fingerprints which would be very helpful evidence of the crime.
After you’ve filed the report with the police, it’s time to contact your home insurance provider to report the incident and file a claim.
If you don’t have home insurance or home contents insurance, this is a sign that it’s a good investment to consider.