How to report a burglary to an insurer
If your property has been burgled, you need to report it within 24 hours to the Police and to your insurer. First, you need to report the incident to the Police and get a crime number. If you have not done this yet, do this first, then contact your insurer.
After you have reported the incident to both the Police and your insurer, you should now take steps to prevent this happening again. Click here for a definitive guide on how to protect your property from burglars.
Good tip: If you have an external camera that captured the burglary taking place, try to download any images/video footage to make available to the Police and/or to your insurer.
To get help and support as a victim of crime, click here.
Follow our guide
- Take a moment to read your insurance policy to check exactly what you are covered for before you make the call to your insurer.
- If you are able to safely get into your property, take stock of what has been damaged. You do not have to make a list straight away, you just need to have an idea.
- Now it is time to contact your insurance company’s claim line.
- Place your phone on loudspeaker and ask a friend or family member to record the conversation. This is to ensure that you have a record of the conversation. When the person answers the telephone, let them know that you are recording the conversation before you continue with the call.
- Advise your insurer’s claims team of the date and time of the incident and what type of incident. If it is an emergency and you need to urgently call out an engineer of some sort to make your property safe, confirm with the insurer that they will cover the cost.
- Your main concern should be if the property is not in a liveable condition. If this the case, you need to advise your insurer during the call so that they can help you secure alternative accommodation immediately.
- Your insurer will ask you questions about whether you have reported the incident to the Police, what has been stolen/damaged etc. Again, if you have not contacted the Police, you should do this straight away. Click here for guidance. If you do not know how the burglary happened, say so, never give your opinion of how you think it happened. Insurers use the information you give to assess your insurance claim.
If you claim is accepted by the Insurer during the call:
- You will be asked to prepare a list of items that have either been stolen or damaged and if at all possible, serial numbers of each item.
- Receipts and paperwork: You should start compiling a list of what was stolen and/or damaged in each room and work out the replacement value of each item. For guidance and a list, click here. You should then check what paperwork/email purchase confirmations you have for each item (ie TV, Carpets, Laptops, jewellery etc). If you don’t have copies of these, you can also check to see if you have any photographs of the rooms before the incident took place. Photographs will show your belongings in each room and will actually remind you of what was in each room. All of these things will help you claim back any losses through your insurance company.
- You may be assigned a Loss Adjuster to go through the losses/damage with you.
- You will then receive a written report (usually by email) from the
- Loss Adjuster detailing your losses and a figure for you to replace the stolen items or the Loss Adjuster may have a company that they use to directly replace the stolen items (like for like).
- If any damage to the property occurred, you can decide whether you want to use the Insurer’s Contractor or your own to make repairs. Your Contractor should send you a quote, and if the quote is accepted by the Loss Adjuster, the insurer will usually pay you the funds to pay your Contractor. If your Contractor’s quote is rejected, you should liaise with the Loss Adjuster until a resolution is found. If you use the insurer’s Contractor, ensure you are happy with it. if any issues arise (work not carried out properly by the insurer’s Contractor), you should get in touch with the Loss Adjuster to get the Contractor to return.
- Once your claim has been settled, you should keep a list of your new items and receipts and keep them somewhere safe. You should also take photographs of each room that has been refurbished if you ever need to go through this process again.
- Any time you purchase something new for your property of value, you should look to updating your insurance and add items to your list.
If your claim is initially rejected by the Insurer during the call
- Go through your insurance policy documentation and see if there is any wording that confirms that you are covered. Ask the insurer to confirm and explain to you where in the policy it states that you are not covered – this is a good tactic and it usually works. You should also get them to do this by email/in writing as soon as possible.
- If this doesn’t work, advise that you need a Loss Adjuster to attend your property to access the claim.
If the insurer refuses to send a Loss Adjuster, take photographs of the damaged rooms/areas of the property, get a copy of your insurance policy and write a letter of complaint (attaching those documents) to your insurer setting out the following (write it in a story form):
On [day] [month] 201[ ] I contacted your company to advise of an incident in relation to a burglary to my property.
You rejected my claim. I feel that this was unfairly rejected because [fill out why you believe your claim should be upheld.]
Regardless of whether you have been rejected verbally, you should never take no for an answer.
Your insurer will then write to you formally outlining their final response.
If at any point of your claim you are not happy, you can write a complaint to the insurance company. If you are not happy with their response you can send your complaint to the Financial Ombudsman outlining your complaint in detail. Include all correspondence between you and the insurers. You will also need to give the Financial Ombudsman a copy of your insurance policy document.
When you suffer a burglary in your home you may not be covered under the following conditions:
- You left a window or door open and/or unlocked.
- If you have a burglar alarm and you did not activate it.
- If there is no evidence of forced entry.
- You did not state the correct type of locks your property has when filling out an application form for insurance.
- You did not report the incident to the Police.
- You did not secure valuables in your outside space.
- If you left your home unoccupied for a long period of time.
- If you use your home as a place of work and did not divulge it to your insurer.
Find our other Burglary-related how-to guides: