how to protect your home from burglary

How to Protect Your Possessions

How to Protect Your Home From Burglary

The FBI has estimated that there are 8.27 million property crimes committed in the United States per year, with victims suffering losses calculated at approximately $14.3 billion. Billions more have been lost through damage caused by natural disasters like hurricanes. We are going to teach you how to protect your home from burglary and vandalism.

Here are a few statistics Allstate Insurance put together that will shock you:

  • While 90% of American homeowners are concerned about losing their belongings, most have not had them appraised in years.
  • Only 10% of people have documented their possessions.
  • Only 40% of Millennials know the details of their current coverage.

What to Keep in Mind

What if your possessions are stolen or your property gets damaged by fire, flood or a tornado? Most insurance policies typically cover personal property (up to the limits stated in the policy), but to file a claim you will need to know what is missing.

Would you be able to list the specific items that were stolen or damaged and how much those things are worth? You will need to show proof of ownership to the insurance company when you file a claim.

The best way to provide that evidence is through an inventory of your belongings. You should update this when you purchase or acquire new items, or when you get rid of something. It is amazing how many people do not even think about doing that.

How to Protect Your Home From Burglary by Taking Home Inventory

It is recommended to make a complete list of your possessions, attaching receipts and appraisals.

Breaking your house down by rooms can be helpful. Start with the central section of the house where the majority of valuables are and make a complete list of everything. Using a different sheet of paper for each item, find the receipts for the items and take pictures of the item. Then, attach it to the description and receipt. For electronic items, add a serial number. You can then store this list in a safe deposit box at the bank. It is important to keep the list outside of your home in case your home is destroyed.

Most insurance companies want your information updated every few years or when you add an important item. That should also trigger you to ask your insurance agent if you have enough insurance to cover a loss, based on the appraised value of your possessions.

Protecting Your Home Against Burglars

Believe it or not, most professional thieves laugh at our attempts to keep our homes from being robbed.

Here are tips to protect your home:

  • Make your house look occupied. Do not keep the same lights on all the time and do not blast the television volume in the middle of the night. Rotate your lights on a timer and if your television has a timer, set the one in your living room to go on around 7 p.m. and off around midnight.
  • Have good deadbolts put on all the doors. Use them not only when you are not home, but at night when you are home.
  • Use surveillance. Put real cameras on both the interior and exterior of your home.
  • Make sure your grass is cut. This indicates you have been home recently, versus a home with long grass.
  • Do not leave garbage cans empty for an extended period. Ask a neighbor to put some of their garbage in your can.
  • Get a dog If you do not have a dog, you can make it look like you have one by putting a dog bowl and chain by the back door. A sign saying “beware of dog” is not enough to deter thieves.
  • Put on outdoor lights. Outdoor lighting on a timer is great. Motion sensor lighting is okay, but burglars can easily find out how to avoid those spots.
  • Figure out a good place to hide your valuables. The best place is a safe. Also, hide your things outside of your bedroom. The attic, basement or kids’ rooms are generally good hiding places.

Why You Should Get House Insurance

Even if you are optimistic and keep your house on lockdown with security, there is still a possibility of vandalism or theft. Without house insurance, you cannot get any of this back without buying the items again.

Getting home insurance is one way of how to protect your home from burglary. It protects your belongings, offers recovery options after damage and it also offers you peace of mind.

The annual cost of house insurance per year is $793. This is about $66 per month, which is a lot cheaper than having to replace an expensive television, laptop or sound system.

People Vulnerable to Robbery

Those who are more vulnerable to robbery are older people, people who live alone and people without pets. If you are one of these people, it is even more important to look into purchasing house insurance to protect yourself from burglary. Those who are retired are also more vulnerable because they have a life's savings of money and commodities.