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Home insurance: theft and burglary

Verified 17 September 2020 - Directorate for Legal and Administrative Information (Prime Minister)

If you are the victim of a theft in your home, you must lodge a complaint with the police or the gendarmerie as soon as possible. If you have the flight guarantee in your home insurance contract, you must report the claim to your insurer. You must do this by registered letter with acknowledgement, within 2 working days from the time you became aware of the theft. You must attach the complaint receipt.

The theft and burglary guarantee is not mandatory, whether you are a landlord or a tenant. It is not included in the basic guarantees, it must be subscribed specifically. It can however be included in your contract if you have taken out insurance"home multihazard".

If your contract includes a flight guarantee, you should check what it covers.

The insurance contract specifies the different types of flights covered.

Typically, these are:

  • Break-in or climbing premises
  • Threats or violence
  • Theft as a result of an illegal entry (for example, a burglar enters your home while you are present)
  • Theft by use of false keys (special tool hook, real stolen or lost key...)
  • Theft by the insured’s employees (housekeeper, babysitter, etc.), provided that the person concerned is the subject of a complaint. The complaint may be withdrawn only with the agreement of the insurance company.

Acts of vandalism may be covered, if the authors have entered the dwelling in the circumstances prescribed for the guarantee vol.

However, a theft committed by a family member or with his complicity is not guaranteed.

Items stolen from an outbuilding (cellar, shed, garage) separate from the house are not generally covered by the theft insurance.

Objects placed in a courtyard, garden or common areas of a building are not guaranteed.

Flight insurance covers property in the dwelling that belongs to the occupants.

Most contracts also guarantee items that are rented or entrusted to you, but the warranty may be limited for those items.

Example :

  • Common furniture: including furniture, linen, clothing, electrical appliances, household appliances
  • Valuables: jewelry, precious metal objects, carpets, tapestries, paintings, furs
  • Sensitive objects: including television, hi-fi, video, photographic equipment, computer

The declaration of flight must be made in 2 stages.

Statement to the police or gendarmerie

You must go to a police station or the gendarmerie of your choice.

Who shall I contact

The police or gendarmerie are obliged to register the complaint.

The complaint is then transmitted to the public prosecutor to decide on the follow-up (investigation, classification without follow-up...).

If you do not know the author of the facts, you can fill out a pre-complaint online before moving.

You will then get an appointment and the police or gendarmes will already have the elements of your complaint when you arrive.

Online Pre-Complaint

Declaration to the insurer

The flight report must be completed in 2 working days the date you noticed the break-in.

It can be done directly with the insurer or with a person entitled to represent it validly (general agent or broker).

The declaration can be made by telephone, by internet, on site at the insurer's agency or its representative, or by registered letter with acknowledgement of receipt.

Report to your insurer a theft in your home

You must specify the following in the return:

  • Contact information (name, address)
  • Insurance contract number
  • Description of the claim (nature, date, time, location)
  • Copy of theft complaint receipt
  • Estimated condition of furniture and articles destroyed or damaged
  • Description of damage (material or physical damage, significance),
  • Damage to third parties (e.g. if a water leak in your home caused damage to your neighbors),
  • Contact details of victims, if any.

You do not have to attach a complete inventory of the stolen or damaged objects during the disaster, with their values. You will have to send the insurance an estimate of the damage suffered within the time limit set by the contract.

You must prove the damage you have suffered.

We must first gather all the elements that can justify the existence and value of the stolen goods. For example, purchase invoices, warranty vouchers, photographs of valuables.

Then you have to report the damage. For example, photos of fractured doors and windows, traces of climbing, ransacking of the dwelling.

You can have your premises refurbished to get an estimate of the cost. But you should not make repairs without your insurance's permission. Your insurer will tell you whether it allows you to start refurbishing work or if you have to wait for an expert.

Please note

insurance generally recommends after a flight or a burglary to take precautions to prevent a new flight (replacement of locks...).

Expertise is not always required.

However, the insurance company may appoint an expert to check the circumstances of the flight and assess the damage you have suffered.

You have the possibility to request that a counter-expertise be carried out.

If the expertise or counter-expertise reveals that you have made false statements, the insurer may refuse to compensate you. Most contracts include a clause that prevents compensation for false statements by the insured.