The Hidden Costs of Home Burglary
Limiting Hidden Costs
Housebreaking is a growing problem in the United States, stretching law enforcement agencies to the limits. By unlawfully entering your home and removing your personal possessions, burglars give you the opportunity to experience the hidden costs of burglary first-hand.
The scare tactics used in advertisements by the insurance and home security sectors is well known. But while these present one view of reality, it’s not the whole story; the boring technicalities of the crime aren’t examined. Here are some hidden costs a home burglary can present you with.
How Much Will a Burglary Cost
After the stress and trauma of a break-in, it’s hard to get you head around the fact that there’s more to pay. And nobody can tell you what a burglary will cost you personally because every crime is distinctive. There are many expenses associated with a home break-in, all the emotional and monetary costs suffered by victims of burglary.
Depending on the amount of force used to break into the home, there may be no damage or there may be major work. And even with insurance, there’s still the deductible to be paid; part of the hidden costs
If You Have Insurance
The value of the stolen possessions is covered but you may have to prove that you really owned the items you are claiming. Unique heirloom and sentimental objects are only replaced for the actual cost of the items and may never be recovered.
Insurance premiums usually increase after a burglary or incident where the insurance has been used, so this may be a long-lasting future expense.
Without insurance, you won’t have to worry about any deductibles but you’ll have to face the following:
- Without insurance coverage, every stolen item will have to be replaced by the victim. Many people find this too costly and cannot replace everything so they have to live without the items.
- Damage to your home could be significant, needing costly repairs. A new door, hardware and labor will set you back several hundred dollars. Add the services of a locksmith to install deadbolts and change a few locks and you’ll be out of pocket another few hundred bucks.
- Broken windows will need to be replaced, meaning the cost of windows and labor.
- If the intruders gained access through the second story, there could be external damage to the gutters, siding or roof.
- The damage could be severe enough to require the services of a contractor to do necessary repairs and paint.
- If your home was trashed in the robbery with many broken windows and a big mess, you may need a disaster recovery cleaning service.
Insured or Uninsured Face these Issues
It’s not unknown for a homeowner to be sued by a burglar (?). Sometimes there are disputes with the insurance company. Lawsuits can drag on and on and legal costs accumulate fast.
Work days lost
Homeowners, renters, and other victims of burglaries find the greatest hidden costs are the hours lost from work; dealing with appointments, paperwork, home repairs, and other results of burglary. The average victim spends over thirty hours on the phone just sorting out insurance claims.
Priority has to also be given to the personal recovery process. Victims need to take time off from work for this and suffer stress from the lost work days and a smaller paycheck. There can also be residual psychological trauma requiring personal or group therapy, which means more time off.
Random hidden costs are a result of every burglary. It doesn’t matter how valuable the stolen goods were, there is still emotional trauma and resultant stress.
The best way to handle burglary is to stop criminals in their tracks before your home is targeted. Making your home safe and secure does cost. But these costs are minimal compared to having to face the aftermath of a burglary.
Consider implementing the following:
- Install a home security system with a burglar alarm.
- Install exterior motion sensor lighting.
- Trim shrubs, hedges and trees to remove dark places that intruders can use to hide
- Install strong locks.
Avoid burglary and all its hidden costs by implementing these steps. Make your home the least appealing house on the block – for the crooks, that is.