What To Do When Your Home Is Broken Into

If your car, apartment/home is broken into, here are some quick tips to help take steps in the right direction.


Leave and call the police. If you see signs of tampering to your door or you suspect you’ve been broken into, leave immediately and call the police from a nearby safe place like your car, a store, or a neighbor’s.  They’ve probably gone, but to reduce the risk of harm to you and damage to possible evidence.  Secure your pets before the police arrive.

The Longmont police in Colorado reinforce the idea of leaving and offer prevention tips.  If applicable in your state, get a police report number to give your insurance company.

If you’re broken into while at home, states like Florida and Pennsylvania have a “Castle Doctrine”, which means that you will not be held legally accountable if you defend yourself against an illegal break in, including the use of lethal force.  Because I’m not gun savvy, I’d be out the back door, but gun comfortable gals have this option.

Alert your insurance company and property management. If you live in an apartment or condo, let the property management company or super know of the break in and that you will need a lock change immediately.  Keep a number of a trusted 24 hour locksmith in your cell phone.  If you’re in a house, call the insurance company know and let them know what’s missing.

Check on your policy to see if you get actual replacement value (ARV) or replacement cost (RC). If your 3 year old iPod is stolen, with ARV you’d get the value of a 3 year old item.  With RC, you’d get the price of a new iPod.  List it–the standard for property inventory lists is the Know Your Stuff™ software.


Call the police and then your insurance company. Keep a copy of your insurance card in your wallet and the insurance number in your cell to stay focused under stress.  You may have to give your insurance carrier your police record number to make the claim.  Be aware of your deductible first, to make a reasonable claim.

Suzanne E., an on the road IT salesperson from Boston, says she keeps photos of her car valuables that she travels with, and trunk contents in her bank safety deposit box.  “I figure if anything gets damaged or stolen, I’ll be able to share with the insurance company.

Allstate Insurance offers a mobile app that allows you to photograph and list your possessions for car or home.

Have any tips that helped you keep your cool when your car or home was broken into?

Comments +

  1. Marisa says:

    I always hear about kicking in doors, so I got a lock that slides along the bottom of the door. It may be worthless, but it makes me feel more comfortable having it there! 🙂 http://www.taylorbrothersdoorlock.com/install.htm

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