When it comes to home insurance, burglary is frustrating. Stolen goods might be more valuable for sentimental reasons than economic reasons, and the value of the claim might not even match the deductible. This can leave you in an awkward situation where you would be covered if the thieves had stolen a little more than they did. But filing a homeowners insurance claim for what was taken would instead put you at a net loss after paying the deductible.
In the movies, burglars break in to snatch up jewelry, silverware and cash. But in real life, alcohol and prescription drugs are often nabbed. This is by design. Cash can be traced, and stolen jewelry often has to be sold at far below market value. But prescription drugs can be sold on any street corner — and for more than the prescribed patient paid for them. The bottom lines is that burglars will often steal items that don't add up to very much, you might not have included these items on your home insurance inventory in the first place.
Add to this the fact that you don't want to file a home insurance claim more than once every three years or so. Otherwise your rates could go up. If you file a claim over a $2,000 burglary today, you might lose out on filing for $5,000 in roof repairs when a tree falls on your home next year. You could file for both, of course. But you might not, out of fear that insurance companies will see you as a high-risk customer due to the volume of claims.
So, when should you file a claim for a burglary? You should do so when it meets the following criteria:
- The stolen items total more than your deductible.
- You haven't filed a home insurance claim in three years or longer.
Most burglaries are simply not worth filing a claim over. If this seems to be painting a dire picture, the problem really comes down to the emotional impact of a burglary on your psyche.
When it comes to home repairs for water damage, broken windows and busted pipes, we have no problem paying for the damages out of pocket if it will cost us less than the deductible. But in the event of a burglary, it feels as if some sort of justice must be served.
Sadly, in most cases, all we can really do is give the police all the information we have and hope for the best.
Also Read: Reduce Home Insurance Rates by Using Security Devices