I’m thinking that many of you asked this question after reading the last post, “did they have renter’s insurance?” The short answer is no. We learned a lot when we dealt with this whole ordeal, below I’ve shared some things with you.
The long answer is this: the Monday before the break in I finalized the changing my last name process after getting married. I was waiting for my new license and social security card in the mail.
Al and I had discussed that once we have my name changed over we’ll go ahead and change my name on everything (bank accounts, credit cards, etc.). We also said once it was changed we’d call about the renter’s insurance. There was no sense getting the insurance and then having to go back a few weeks later with proof of marriage and the name change form. Well, turns out, there was plenty of sense in getting the insurance right after moving in.
Renter’s insurance is SO inexpensive. We have the maximum coverage you can get (you can understand why) and we pay about $27 a month. That’s totally worth it to us. We use the same company that our car insurance is through so we get a discounted rate. I recommend checking into your insurance company policies and rates and making sure you have coverage.
We also invested in an alarm system. It’s a completely wireless system that is capable of moving with us every time/place we move. We use SimpliSafe. At the time we started using them they were a startup company that a co-worked recommended to me. In three years I have not one complaint. It’s the easiest system to use, wireless and completely set up through your computer. The customer service is fantastic and you can completely customize the system to your needs.
We’ve had a few false alarms (landlords, repair men) and never has the system failed us. Once in our last apartment the alarm went off, we were both at work and I knew it would take me 15 minutes or so to get to the house. I asked them to dispatch the police and ask the police to wait until I got there. They did just that. I arrived and the cop gladly walked me through the house and checked every inch of it for me. Turns out the landscapers got a little too close to the window in the kitchen and the motion sensor picked it up. I’d rather that than the opposite! We use the alarm every single time we leave the house, whether for vacation or a walk around the block.
I came across this article in Real Simple magazine that was huge for me. After this happened to us we made sure to keep better documentation of personal paperwork, electronics and valuables. This was a great article on what you need to keep track of for insurance claim purposes. Click on the image to make it larger so you can actually read it! Great information though. We store all important information electronically on an external hard drive and also I email things to myself. That way I know I’ll always have a copy of it. Hard copy items we keep in a fire safe box.
You can also read this information electronically if you’d rather that. You can find it here.
Another important thing we learned was the importance of a great landlord. I’m pretty sure that we’ll never have a landlord as good as the one we had in the apartment we were robbed in. What I’ve also learned is that if for some reason we’re ever landlords we’ll want to be just like him. I called him that night, also sobbing, everyone I called I was sobbing to. He was so attentive, made sure we were keeping him updated and did everything to make us feel more comfortable.
He replaced the two broken windows, the robbers tried to get in a different window, failed and just damaged it. He installed sensor lights around the house, replaced the screens in every window, some were missing or damaged and checked up on us in the following weeks. His wife even called me the morning after this to make sure we were okay. We’d never met her, it was the first time I’d ever spoken with her, but she felt she wanted to reach out to console us. I think about them often, simply because of the respectful way they reacted and treated us after this happened.
The weekend after the break in was interesting. We were both on edge a little, had no electronics at all and were frightened to leave the house in fear of coming back. But we did. We went to the Museum of Science, like we were kids again, and had fun and laughed. Then we went to Target and picked up a few games, The Game of Life, Catch Phrase and Uno to be exact. We played them all for a while. After work, on weekends. We played games instead of watching TV or being on the computer. I guess looking back on it, it was kind of nice. Too bad it wasn’t under different circumstances.
I hope this was a little helpful to you. If you’re interested in more tips and tricks for protecting your house please feel free to reach out to me. I figure I shouldn’t share my hiding places and all my tips on this giant place called the internet. I wanted to leave you with a few great articles on protecting your home. Just remember, be safe, proactive and be aware. Thanks for reading!
SimpliSafe and Real Simple have no clue who I am. I just really love them both.