Although you might think your odds of falling victim to a burglary are low, a shocking 1 in 10 people has had their home burgled. It can be a highly traumatizing experience, leading to feelings of vulnerability, fear, sadness, and anger. Yet if it turns out that you contributed to the burglary by leaving your home unlocked, you might be traumatized all over again when your insurance company denies your claim. Not all insurers are alike, and some companies may cover the loss. But why take a chance? Here are 9 ways you could be setting yourself up for a denied claim.
Leaving Windows Unlocked
Although it is doubtful that you will be required to install window locks where none currently exist, if you have them, it is important to use them. Whether you have locks or not, never leave a window open in an unoccupied room. It is an invitation to thieves and could result in a denied insurance claim.
Your insurance company wants to know what kind of locks you have on your home. You may even be eligible for a discount if you have certain types of high-security locks. When it comes time to pay out, though, your insurer will not be too happy if you were dishonest. Keep your insurance company informed when you upgrade or change lock styles.
Even if you lock up your house, an unforced entry could result in a denial of claim. Never hide a spare key outside your home, and be sure to rekey locks if someone walks off with a key.
Deactivated Burglar Alarm
If you have informed your insurance company that you have a burglar alarm, be sure to activate it every time you leave the house. Although you are not required to have an alarm, failing to activate one that you have described to your insurer could cause your claim to be denied.
Lack of Police Report
Most insurance companies require you to file a police report within 24 hours of a burglary. Be sure to get a report number for your insurer’s records. If there is no police report, there is unlikely to be a paid claim.
Failure to Secure Outdoor Items Not Listed on Your Policy
Items that you will likely leave outdoors during warm weather, such as BBQ grills or lawn mowers, should be separately listed on your insurance policy. Anything not listed should be secured in a shed, garage, or other storage space when not in use.
Your Tools Are Used to Gain Entry
Ladders, wrenches, and other tools that are left lying around could help a burglar gain entry to your home. If this happens, your insurer is unlikely to pay. Secure all tools when you are not actively using them.
Leaving Your Home Unoccupied
Some insurance policies will not pay claims if your home is left unoccupied for more than 30 days. If you have this clause in your policy, arrange to have someone (not necessarily the homeowner) spend one night at the house every 30 days.
Conducting Business Out of Your Home
Home-based businesses have become extremely popular, but having people in and out of the house raises the risk of theft. Tell your insurance company if you start a home-based business. Your premiums may slightly rise, but you will be sure you are covered.
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If you are ready to form a relationship with a reliable, trustworthy locksmith, contact Texas Premier Locksmith today at (866) 948-8188.