While it may take some time for the emotional wounds to heal, here are some immediate steps to take to soften the financial blow:
Step 1: Call 911
Before having a meltdown or picking up a camera to collect evidence, immediately call 911 so the police can head to the scene and draft up a report. The longer you wait, the more difficult it can be for authorities to track down the perpetrators. Failing to act promptly could also result in the denial of insurance claims and there’s a strong possibility your goods won’t be recovered if too much time lapses.
An important tip: if you notice your home has been robbed before entering the premises, walk away and use your mobile phone to contact law enforcement.
Step 2: Notify Your Insurance Provider
Once law enforcement has arrived and interviewed you, alert your insurance provider. A representative will communicate the proper procedures for filing a claim. In addition, they will confirm if a formal investigation is required. If so, you’ll want to refrain from doing any cleaning until their investigation is complete.
Step 3: Assess the Damage
Conduct a visual inventory to assess property damage and determine what’s been taken. This is also the perfect time to snap pictures of the premises — but don’t touch anything until the official crime scene investigation is complete.
Step 4: Inspect Security Footage
Although it may be tough to face reality and accept the fact that your home has been burglarized, any footage of the incident should be reviewed and provided to authorities. It should also be given to the insurance provider to further validate your claim.
Step 5: Contact Your Financial Institution
If your credit or debit cards were stolen during the burglary, contact your financial institution to report the incident and request replacements. And if you have a subscription to an identity theft protection service, inform them of the break-in as well.
Step 6: Secure and Clean Up the Premises
After inspecting the damage and reviewing security footage, pinpoint vulnerable areas of your home and make adjustments to minimize the risk of future incidents. Also, use this time to not only clean up the mess, but to implement the enhanced security measures. All windows should be boarded up until they are replaced, and don’t forget to swap out any door knobs that are outdated.
Step 7: See a Counselor
In the immediate days or months following the break-in, it may be difficult to get a good night’s rest or feel safe in your home at any time of the day. While this isn’t necessarily abnormal, as you have a right to be concerned about the safety of you and your loved ones, you should seek professional help for help coping after the robbery.
If you don’t yet have an alarm system installed, contact a security provider to determine the best options on the market to safeguard your home and belongings.