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What to do if... your house gets burgled

Finding out your home has been burgled is a shock, especially if you've lost treasured possessions. Here's what to do.

First steps

If you come home to find you've been burgled, contact the police immediately and remember these dos and don'ts.


  • touch anything more than you have to or attempt to clear up any mess. You could destroy important evidence


  • check your home for damage and make a note of what's missing
  • report stolen credit/debit cards or cheque books to your bank
  • report stolen passports or driver's licence
  • contact your insurance company. They may want to take your details immediately or wait for the police to make a report
  • check with your insurance company  to see if you have Home Emergency included in your policy and if an emergency locksmith and repairs are covered.

What happens next?

When the police arrive they’ll take your details and help make sure your home is secure.

The police will give you a crime reference number. Your home insurance company might need to see it when you make a claim.

Secure your home

If you call an emergency locksmith or glazier, keep the receipts. You may be able to claim them on your home insurance.

Check with your insurer what you need to do to make a claim, such as photographing damage and keeping receipts for replacement items.

Putting things right

You need to work closely with your insurance company to make sure your claim goes smoothly.

Click here to find out how to make a claim on your John Lewis Home Insurance

If the police recover any of your lost property you must tell the insurance company. They will take this into account when calculating your claim.

Preventative measures

There are several things you can do to prevent a burglary and protect your property:

  • Install a burglar alarm - this may also make your home insurance cheaper. It's worth noting that many insurers will add endorsements onto your policy. For example, if you go out and don't put the alarm on and your home is broken into, you may have to pay a higher excess.
  • Secure your doors and windows - and never leave keys in locks or on windowsills where they’re in plain view.
  • Note down serial numbers - most electronic goods have them. It's then easier to prove ownership if the police find your property.
  • Keep valuation certificates and receipts - it helps your insurance company settle your claim if you have proof of ownership and value.
  • Take photographs - for items without serial numbers, such as furniture and jewellery, a photograph is a good substitute. A photograph of a unique or rare item can help your insurance company repair or replace it.

How John Lewis Insurance can help

John Lewis Insurance could help you get back on track after a burglary with the minimum of fuss.

If you have Home Emergency included in your policy, you have access to a 24 hour helpline and up to £1,500 in labour and parts for emergency repairs to broken windows or doors*. Check your Policy Schedule to see if you have Home Emergency included.

We aim to settle claims as quickly and efficiently as possible.

Our Specialist Home Insurance policy also provides Trauma Cover, which includes up to £25,000 for security improvements at your home after a burglary.

Find out more about our Home Insurance now.

Find the number for your local police force.

John Lewis Home Insurance homepage

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We have carefully selected Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc to underwrite John Lewis Home Insurance.

* With Premier Cover.

John Lewis Insurance is a trading name of John Lewis plc. Registered office: 171 Victoria Street, London SW1E 5NN. Registered in England (No. 233462). John Lewis plc is an appointed representative of Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc. John Lewis Home Insurance is underwritten by Royal & Sun Alliance Insurance plc (No. 93792). Registered in England and Wales at St. Mark's Court, Chart Way, Horsham, West Sussex, RH12 1XL. Authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority (Financial Services Register No. 202323). Calls may be recorded and monitored.

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