What to Do if Your House Is Robbed

Author: Shay Waraker

It is a feeling no one wants – walking through the front door to discover someone has been in your home uninvited. But what do you need to do should your house be robbed?

It may be obvious, or it may take some time to notice, but you walk around running an inventory of your belongings to figure out what is missing as you process the intrusion. It can be an emotional time, and what you do next can be important to get the best result from police investigations and from your home and contents insurance, so we’ve compiled what to do when your house is broken into and robbed.

1. Report the crime to police

If you suspect someone is still in your home or nearby, find a safe place and call the police on Triple One (111) immediately. Otherwise, if the perpetrator is long gone, you can contact the non-emergency police line on 105 or through the website.

2. Make an inventory of what is missing

You will need to provide a list of items that are missing from your home, as well as any damage, within the police report. Check each room and any locations where valuables are kept to be as thorough as you can.

You can add to your report if you find more items missing after you have submitted it.

3. Follow police instructions

The police will let you know if they will be conducting a forensic check of your property to search for fingerprints or evidence that will help their investigation and, if they are, what you should do in the meantime.

For example, it is a good idea to cause minimal disruption to your property to prevent tampering with any potential evidence.

4. Cancel cards burglars have access to

If a wallet or any identification documents have been stolen, make sure to report these to the police.

Also, contact any financial institution to cancel credit or debit cards and notify your provider if you notice any transactions that were not made by you.

5. Contact your insurance provider

Once you have the police report, you can contact your home and contents insurance provider, if you have one. You will need to provide the details of what happened and a copy of the report to lodge a claim.

→ Related article: How to Make a Contents Insurance Claim Without Receipts

It’s a good idea to read the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for your policy to understand what is and is not covered, and whether any value limits apply for certain items. Also be aware of possible exclusions, such as whether a hidden key was used in the break in or if the home was unlocked at the time.

If you submit a home and contents claim, your insurance provider will assess it and let you know the next steps for any repairs or replacement of items.

Compare home and contents insurance with Canstar

6. Review the security of your home

If police have determined how the intruders gained access to your home, it’s a good idea to improve the security of that area. You could also consider additional security measures such as security cameras, new locks on doors and windows and a safe for valuables.

If any keys were stolen, you will need to change the locks in your home to prevent a follow-up break in.

Tips for preventing a break in

Some tips to help keep your home and contents safe include:

  • Ask your friends or neighbours to keep an eye on your property and collect your mail while you’re away
  • Check your alarm system is working
  • Install security cameras
  • Be mindful of how you promote your travel plans on social media
  • Put your valuables in a safe or out of sight
  • Check you’ve got the right locks on all your doors and windows – it’s best if installed by a locksmith
  • Keep trees and bushes near windows trimmed to increase visibility
  • Keep a list and photos of your valuables – this will help should the worst happen and you need to make a claim
  • The most common entry points for a burglary are the garage, followed by the bedroom and kitchen. Make sure doors and windows are secured and locked before you hit the road
  • Check your home and contents insurance is up to date and includes any extra special items you may want to protect.

author andrew broadley

About the author of this page

This report was written by Canstar Content Producer, Andrew Broadley. Andrew is an experienced writer with a wide range of industry experience. Starting out, he cut his teeth working as a writer for print and online magazines, and he has worked in both journalism and editorial roles. His content has covered lifestyle and culture, marketing and, more recently, finance for Canstar.

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