What to do after a burglary

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Your home has been broken into, your cupboards ransacked, and valuables stolen – being burgled comes as a big shock. And questions soon arise: what should you do? Who should you notify? And what type of insurance covers the claim?

Key points after a burglary

  • Remain calm
  • Don't touch anything at the scene
  • Call the police on the emergency numbers 117 or 112
  • Notify your claim

Reporting a burglary

People whose home, office or business has been broken into are often left in a state of shock. And then there's all the admin that needs to be taken care of. Your insurer will need to be officially notified of the case. CSS lets you do this easily using the online form for reporting a burglary. You should then make an inventory of the stolen and damaged items.

What type of insurance pays?

Theft by housebreaking and the resulting damage to household contents generally comes under household contents insurance. Items stolen by the burglars which form part of the household contents are insured at new-for-old value. Household contents are defined as all items of movable property for private use belonging to members of the household. If items have been damaged but can be repaired, household contents insurance pays the cost of repairing them.

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Household Contents Insurance

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Well protected

Current value and new-for-old value

In insurance jargon, 'new-for-old value' means the price paid to replace the lost or broken item with a brand new one. The new-for-old value will be greater than the current value, as an amount is deducted from the current value to account for the age and wear and tear of the item.

Good to know: If the stolen items were no longer being used (e.g. stored in the basement), they will be compensated at their current value.

Jewellery and money

Expensive watches, valuable armbands and necklaces, works of art and cash: these are often the kind of valuables snatched in a burglary. An upper limit of CHF 20,000 applies in many household contents policies. If you collect art or own valuable jewellery, it's worth taking out additional insurance to cover these valuables.

The sum insured is important

You may have insured fewer household contents than you actually possess. If the sum insured is too low, you'll get less money back from the insurance when you make a claim.

Our tip: Regularly check your personal sum insured to make sure you're not underinsured.

Retention fee for burglary

The contractual retention fee for theft by housebreaking (i.e. burglary) is just CHF 200 per loss event under household contents insurance from CSS.

Tips to prevent burglary

The risk of being burgled has fallen in Switzerland in recent years. Nevertheless, more than 31,000 cases of burglary with or without the use of force were registered nationwide in 2021. Experienced burglars know exactly what they're doing: they mostly gain entry to buildings under cover of darkness or when no-one is there.

There are a few tips and tricks you can use to successfully deter burglars:

  1. Never advertise the fact that you are away, even for a short period, e.g. by leaving a note pinned to the front door or posting on social networks like Facebook.
  2. Protect yourself by installing security devices, an alarm system or visible camera.
  3. Lock valuables, documents and cash away in a safe or at your bank.
  4. Set up light timers to ensure there are lights burning in various rooms.
  5. Keep a spare house key in a well-hidden key safe.

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