Burglary: How to protect your home

Woman packing suitcase on bed

Burglary: How to protect your home

You can protect yourself against burglary. We tell you what you should look out for and what the insurance coverage entails. So you can step out your home or head off on vacation with peace of mind.

How do I protect myself from burglars?

Small things can often help to protect against burglary and theft:

  1. Closing windows and doors.
    It may sound banal, but even this simple measure makes a big difference: Closing doors and windows every time you leave the house – even if you won't be gone long. 
  2. Inform neighbors and friends.
    Ask neighbors and friends to check on your home if you're going to be away for an extended period of time.
  3. Do not make your absence public.
    Don't post on social media when you're on vacation or away from home for an extended period of time for other reasons.
  4. Deter burglars.
    A visible alarm system or a motion detector with light or alarm signal can already have a deterrent effect on burglars. 
  5. Make your home burglar-proof.
    Special security doors, reinforced windows and high-quality locks make it difficult for burglars to break into other people's homes.
  6. Protect your valuables.
    Store valuables safely, e.g. in a professionally installed safe.

What do I do if my home has been burglarized?

If you discover upon entering your home or apartment that it has been burglarized, we recommend the following:

  1. Call the police.
    Immediately report the burglary to the police and wait for their arrival.
  2. Check what was stolen.
    Make a list of all the missing items. This is especially helpful for the police and your insurance company.
  3. Have stolen bank or store cards blocked.
    If personalized cards such as bank cards, credit cards or store cards were also lost in the theft, contact the bank or company that issued the card to you.
  4. Inform your insurance company.
    Report the burglary and stolen items to your household contents insurance.
    Also, let your neighbors know that you have been burglarized. This makes them aware and means they can both pay more attention to your home in the future and review the measures they have in place to protect their own home.

How is burglary insured?

Burglary – unless otherwise regulated – is covered by household contents insurance. The insurance company usually pays for the replacement of the stolen items. Repairs and damage caused by the burglary are also usually covered by household contents insurance – for tenants, these costs are covered by the landlord.

However, there are some important things to consider when it comes to insurance cover.

  • Deductible:
    Usually, the insurance stipulates that you pay a certain amount of the damage yourself (deductible). The amount of this deductible varies depending on the insurance and provider. With Zurich, the deductible is waived after three claim-free years.
  • Sum insured:
    The sum insured should always be equal to the amount you need to recover all items at replacement value in the event of a total loss. Otherwise, underinsurance might be the result, and this can lead to reductions. Get advice here if you need it.
  • Valuables:
    Special items such as expensive jewelry are usually only insured up to a certain amount through the household contents insurance. Check with your insurance company to see if specific insurance of valuables is worthwhile for you.
  • Gross negligence:
    If doors or windows are not locked and the perpetrators can enter the apartment or house unhindered, the insurance company may be entitled to reduce the compensation. That is why taking steps to protect yourself from burglary is so important.

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