In the 2017/2018 crime statistics, 228 094 house burglaries were reported. This comes down to an average of 625 houses per day. This makes house burglaries a common occurrence in South Africa and homeowners need to be aware of these statistics.
Even though the abovementioned crime statistics are so high and homeowners need to be prepared, many South Africans are completely unprepared for such an eventuality as they have inadequate insurance which results in denied claims and significant expenses.
Here are a few tips that will help you to establish whether you are appropriately covered in the event of a break-in:
1. Make sure to check your policy:
It is important to know that there is a difference between homeowner’s insurance and home contents insurance. Homeowner’s insurance is limited to the structure of your home only, not its contents. If your home is burglarised, and the thief breaks your windows or doors, or causes structural damage to your home, your homeowner’s policy will kick in and enable you to repair the above-mentioned damages.
Home contents insurance offers reimbursement for items stolen from your home, whereas, homeowner’s insurance does not. Remember to insure your home contents for their current replacement value, otherwise, you might not be sufficiently compensated.
2. Make sure to keep an inventory:
It is of utmost importance that you and your insurer know what you are claiming for when you do claim and that you have sufficient proof of ownership of the items that you are claiming for. To accurately assess your losses in the event of a break-in, it is recommended to keep an asset registry.
Additionally, ensure that you keep your receipts or any proof of purchase. This will need to be submitted when you make your claim. If you have all the necessary information, you can facilitate a speedy and seamless reimbursement for your belongings that were stolen during the break-in.
3. Make sure to know your limits:
It’s important to remember that if you insure your items at the correct replacement value, you will be paid out, however, if you do not specify a high-value item, it will only be covered for a limited amount and not it’s full value. You have the option to increase your limit, however, it is of vital importance that you understand the limits of your policy clearly. It is also recommended to speak to your insurer if you need additional cover for your most valuable possessions.
4. Make sure to claim correctly:
When filing your claim after a break-in, you can only seek reimbursement for items that you owned. If you claim for items that were not stolen, it could result in your entire claim being denied and it could negatively impact your insurance cover in the future.