In the 1,127,000 residential burglaries that took place in 2009, the victims lost an average of $2,709 per crime, according to statistics released by the U.S. Census Bureau last year.
What can you do to avoid becoming a victim? There are various steps you can take to help prevent a burglary at your home. But, you can also be prepared in case burglars do strike by having a homeowners insurance policy that covers you against theft.
Losses from theft are covered under many homeowners insurance policies, but you should check your specific policy to determine whether you are covered.
If you find out that your homeowners insurance policy does cover losses from theft, what might that mean when it comes to a burglary at your home?
Let's say two burglars use a crowbar to bust a window out, reach in and unlock your back door. The burglars then proceed to go through your home, grabbing valuables and loading them into their pickup truck before they escape. You arrive home to find a broken window—and the space where a lot of missing items once sat. You've already made a police report, so you call your homeowners insurance company.
What now? First, you should find out whether your homeowners insurance policy has dwelling protection, which helps to cover damage or destruction to your home and any attached structures, like an attached garage or patio. A loss, like your window being shattered by burglars, might be covered under the dwelling protection of your homeowners insurance policy. Make sure to check if any exclusions apply.
Then, you'll want to think about all that stolen personal property. If theft is covered under your homeowners policy, then those stolen belongings may be covered. However, be aware that certain dollar limits in certain categories may apply. There may also be limits per item within the categories.
Take the time to understand the coverages and limits in your policy and also know how much your belongings are worth. This way, you can make sure you are adequately protected in the event of a theft.
One good way to keep track of your belongings and their worth is the Allstate Digital Locker tool, which can help you to create a home inventory complete with photos and value estimates for each item. An accurate home inventory can help you figure out how high you want your personal property limits to be, and it may come in handy if you ever have to file a claim because your belongings were stolen.
If your limits are lower than the value of your items, you may want to talk to your insurance agent to discuss your options.