Having your house broken into can be incredibly traumatic, especially if your home has been completely ransacked or you’ve lost lots of valuables. Unfortunately, break-ins do happen, even here in beautiful Alberta. If you are the victim of a home burglary and aren’t sure what to do, contact our insurance lawyers at WSYC Law or continue reading to learn about your coverage with homeowners insurance.
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Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Break-Ins?
What Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?
Homeowners insurance coverage varies from person to person, depending on their policy. Some homeowners opt for the least amount of coverage possible, which is often mandated by their mortgage lender as a basic requirement for home financing. This kind of plan will cost you less monthly, but you may be in trouble financially if you have to file a hefty home insurance claim in the event that extensive damage is done to your property. Since you’re paying the lowest monthly cost possible, you’ll likely have a lower deductible and a higher premium cost with this type of homeowners insurance plan. So, if someone were to break into your home and destroy your property in the process, you’ll have to pay more out of pocket before receiving compensation for the insured losses.
While basic homeowners insurance plans typically include liability insurance, personal belongings coverage, and weather coverage in the event that your property is damaged or stolen, more advanced home insurance plans can also include replacement cost guarantees, first claim forgiveness, and more. This means that in addition to the basics of homeowners insurance, your insurance company may be more forgiving in terms of how many times you file a claim and less likely to challenge the value of insured losses in your claim (no arbitrary limits or cost estimations). No matter what kind of homeowners insurance plan you choose, every homeowners insurance plan will include some type of coverage for break-ins and burglaries.
How To File A Homeowners Insurance Claim After A Break-In
If your home was broken into and your property was damaged or stolen, the first thing you should do is call the police. When the authorities arrive on the scene, they’ll document the damage and begin searching for evidence as to what was taken and by whom. They’ll also help to determine if you and your family is in any danger. Once you get a police report for the incident and have photos of the damage, you can begin the insurance claim process.
First, go over your homeowners insurance policy to get a fresh perspective on your coverage, as it’s best to approach your insurance adjuster with a solid understanding of your home insurance plan. Know the limits of your coverage, as well as the deductible, premium, and other aspects of your policy, like whether your compensation will be based on the replacement cost or the actual cash value of your insured losses (which factors in depreciation). Then, it’s time to get in contact with your insurance adjuster and file a homeowners insurance claim that explains what happened, what was damaged, what was stolen, what the insured losses were worth, etc.
It is also important to be timely when filing a home insurance claim, since you don’t want to be waiting around longer than necessary for the funds to come in. Make an appointment with your insurance adjuster as soon as possible after the incident, and be sure to follow up with any required information, documents, or paperwork right away. All too often, homeowners insurance claims take weeks to be settled simply because homeowners aren’t proactive in getting the process started. If there’s a time to be extra attentive to phone calls, emails, and letters in the mail, this is it.
Settling A Homeowners Insurance Claim
Due to the nature of burglaries and break-ins, these homeowners insurance claims can take a bit longer to settle than other instances. Home damage from earthquakes, house fires, and other natural disasters can be easier to quantify than damage that occurs during a break-in, especially if nothing of value was taken. For this reason, as well as any ongoing police investigation, it can take insurers longer to pay a theft claim because they have lots of evidence to sift through and insured losses to identify. If there are disputes, that’s a whole other story.
Since burglaries tend to be harder to quantify than other types of damage documented in insurance claims, they are more likely to be disputed by your insurance adjuster. This is especially true if you don’t get the police involved right away, as this can make it look like you’ve tampered with the scene and are trying to get a larger payout. Any evidence you have will act in your favor when settling a home insurance claim, so make sure to immediately gather as much proof as possible before going to your adjuster. This is not to say that every home insurance claim from a burglary or break-in will be disputed, or that people who have solid evidence for the claim do not face pushback. But don’t worry — that’s where our homeowners insurance attorneys come in.
Contact Our Homeowners Insurance Lawyers In Alberta
If you have become the victim of a break-in and need help filing or settling a homeowners insurance claim in Alberta, contact our attorneys at WSYC Law. Our homeowners insurance lawyers have years of experience settling home insurance claims and working through disputes on our clients’ behalf. Book a consultation with us today!