Learning that your home has been burglarized can be more than just distressing. It can be downright traumatizing. Beyond simply suffering material losses, there is a substantial emotional impact that comes along with knowing someone broke into your home and invaded your personal space.
Even though it can be an emotionally charged experience, it’s important that you stay focused to make sure your bases are covered. To help you navigate the aftermath, here are some of the most important tips for handling a burglary.
Focus on Safety
Your emotions can be extremely up and down initially when you learn that you’ve been burglarized. Panic can set in, and you may find yourself wandering through your home taking inventory of everything that’s been stolen. However, the most important thing you should focus on initially is your safety.
Find a safe location in your home and stay there. Call the police and remain where you are until they arrive. You never know when someone could still be lurking in your home, so you want to make sure that you stay out of harm’s way. This is particularly important if you have children present. Even though material losses are undoubtedly distressing, someone in your family getting hurt is much more disastrous.
File a Report
It’s important that when the police arrive, you file a report. This will serve as proof of the incident for the next steps. Make sure that the report includes everything from the time of day that the incident occurred to what items are missing. Include any photographs and evidence, and work quickly. The sooner you file the report and claim, the higher your chances are of them catching the culprit.
Call Your Insurance Company
It’s important that you notify your insurance company to file a burglary claim as soon as possible. The longer you take, the less credible your claim becomes. Make sure that your insurance company has all the information that they need, from photos to the police report to witness statements.
They will be able to walk you through the process and ask whatever questions they require to launch their investigation. The more thorough and responsive you can be, the smoother the process will go. If you’re missing important items, then it can be a drawn-out process each time they ask you to provide supporting documentation. Get it right the first time, and you’ll save yourself a long string of back-and-forths.
A home invasion can be incredibly distressing. In some cases, it may leave you afraid to be in your house at all out of fear that the perpetrator may come back. You may want to consider therapy for yourself and everyone in your family to move forward from the trauma. A therapist will be able to help you work through your fear and guide you on what the next steps are.
Learn From the Experience
Even though a burglary is undoubtedly a horrible experience, that’s not to say that we can’t learn from it. Identify what the cause of the burglary was and how they broke in. Take the proper steps to ensure that your home security is improved so that no one can break in using the same methods again.