When most of us imagine the cost of having our home broken into, we’re thinking about the price of the stuff that could be stolen. Whether it’s the price tag on that big screen TV you just bought or the incalculable cost of a treasured family heirloom, to most of us, theft means loss and the costs of the things we lost.
But burglaries also result in unexpected added costs. These are the things that have to be paid for in the aftermath of a home invasion. You might be surprised how many costs can potentially arise post-burglary, and how much they can add up to.
1. Replacing Your Locks
Getting new locks on your doors will be your first and most pressing concern after a break-in, since you’re not likely to sleep soundly again until you know the burglars can’t get back in. And locksmiths aren’t cheap. Data from HomeAdvisor.com suggests the cost to hire a locksmith could typically land between $170 and $238.
2. Getting New Keys
Once you have new locks, you need to get replacement keys made for everyone who lives in the house, as well as replacements for any friends who you may have entrusted with spare keys. Fortunately this won’t break the bank, as getting keys made is fairly cheap (probably a few dollars per key), but it’s still an extra annoyance for you to worry about amidst comforting your family members and dealing with the insurance company.
3. Fixing broken items
Thieves aren’t known for their neatness and can leave a big mess in their wake. While the cost of broken valuables will be a matter for you to work out with your insurer, immediately after a burglary you must take care to deal with any urgent broken items, such as windows or doors. These are items that might be damaged by the thieves in order to gain entry into your home, so, as with the locks, they have to be fixed right away in order to secure the house. Just to hire a handyman to replace one broken window pane could cost $58, according to home improvement specialists and DIY columnists Katie and Gene Hamilton.
4. Rushing into a new security system
Whether your existing security measures were damaged during the burglary or proved to be ineffective, you may feel pressed to get a new security system in place right away to protect from another break-in. Post break in it’s easy to choose the first option you come across but it’s worth doing your research. Options range from an IP camera-based mobile alert system like Cammy Home Alarm at $360/year to a hefty $1,395 fee for a motion sensing system.
5. Cleaning up
Shattered glass, broken furniture, ruined carpets, and your belongings strewn everywhere might be part of the awful scene that greets you after a home invasion. Some aspects of the clean-up may require professional assistance, which will come with a cost. You might spend $99 just to get one room’s carpet cleaned by Stanley Steemer, and hiring a maid service could run you anywhere between $30 and $100 depending on how much clean-up is needed.
6. Your time
Bear in mind that all of this also includes the cost of your time. After all, time is money, and you may have to take mornings or afternoons off from work to let in the locksmith or security technician into your house. And that’s in addition to time you spend searching the internet and making phone calls to locate those specialists in the first place.
It just goes to show that the real costs of a break-in are about a lot more than the things that are stolen.