Thursday, November 1, 2012

The Anatomy and Psychology of a Break-in

The steps that a person must go through when they become the victim of a wilful burglar that has no regard for them or their property is not something that is considered until after the dastardly deed is done and the reality of their changed world is upon them.  The action steps are played out daily for people that number in thousands in the United States and the victims must often navigate this new territory alone and in a compromised state of mind.  The purpose of this article is to not only share the steps of the aftermath of a break-in, but to share action steps of prevention and preparation. 

  • Fear is the first psychological emotion that floods the mind as you enter your domicile and have the realization that someone unauthorized has violated your space and helped themselves to your belongs.  Fear causes you to flee the place that you'd felt most safe.  Now with the presence of danger still possible looming you find it necessary to hurridly exit.  The fear is caused by the uncertainty of not knowing if the prowler is still lurking. 
  • Call the police- while still shaken, but having exited to the home of a neighbor or the safety of your car, you call the police.  The police arrive and go through your home with guns drawn, searching room by room until they deem that the home is safe for you to reenter.  You are asked questions about what is missing, which you must answer in a compromised state of mind. You must endure the fingerprint dust that lingers long after the authorities have left. 
  • You must call your insurance provider.  You now must file a claim and have to go through the process of filing a claim.  You must recount what is missing, all the while hoping you will get full replacement value.  You may worry how you will pay for the deductible or wonder if you will now have to budget for a rate increase. 
  • You must secure the point of entry.  Your insurance provider may provide you with a number for a disaster and restoration company that will come out and board up the door or window.  If they don't-you will have to navigate this yourself.
  • Find a place to sleep if you are too scared to stay a t the home.  You will either have to make arrangements to stay with a friend or relative.  Most people don't want to burden anyone with their problems so this becomes an additional stresser. 
  • Take time off from work to meet with insurance adjuster and repair people.  You must deal with lost wages and the impact it will have on your budget. 
  • Consider a security system.  At this point you may come to realize that a security sytstem is a valuable asset that can provide peace of mind and a strong dterence factor.  Even as you make these consideration you may make the wrong decision because you are deciding based on fear and not on facts and that is something that many security companies will use to your disadvantage. 
  • Become prey to self-serving alarm companies.  Many of these companies will use the fact your Break-in was public record to call, come by and harass you to buy from them.  Often they will throw today only specials and same day installation to get you to do business with them.  They will use inferior equipment and self serving contracts that will place you at risk.  The time to consider an alarm system is before there is a break-in and allow yourself the time to do research and get quality referrals of quality companies and representatives that will put you first and serve your interests. 
The most imporatnt thing anyone can do is to be proactive when it comes to the safety of themselves, their family and their belongings. 

  • Review your insurance and coverage with your provider prior to a break-in making sure you have adequate coverage.
  • Make a video of your belongings and keep a record of what you have and the price.  An independent insurance agent I know in Raleigh, NC, Greg Suggs of the Greg Suggs Insurance agency provides this service for his customers for free.  He can be reached at 919-875-8889.
  • Have a security audit of your home done, where you can learn the vulnerabilities of your home and how you can best fortify it.  Call 919-228-8361 and mention this article and you can get this service at no charge in the Raleigh, NC area. 

1 comment:

Janey said...

This is really an interesting post that looks at how we react to a break-in. It's definitely true that one break-in anywhere in my neighborhood elicits fear in everyone to the point of buying home security systems in Edmonton if they didn't already have one installed. Thanks for the advice on reviewing your coverage before an incident occurs and you are in a hurry to get whatever security system comes knocking on your door.