Identify what was stolen and file a police report right away. Photograph damages and take steps to protect your garage from future break-ins. Do not throw away damaged or destroyed property without approval. Next, check your homeowners insurance deductible and find out if personal belongings are covered for actual cash value or replacement cost. It may not make sense to turn in a claim if you have a high deductible and ACV coverage.
Your homeowners insurance company will assign a file number and adjuster to handle your claim. The adjuster will begin a detailed investigation to verify coverage, review the cause of loss, assess damage, and prepare a settlement offer. Be ready to make a proof of loss statement. Personal belongings are insured on an actual cash value basis (depreciated) unless the policy includes contents replacement cost coverage.
A personal property inventory helps policyholders understand their contents coverage needs and makes settling those claims easier. Create a room-by-room record of each belonging. Include year, make, model, serial number, purchase price, and receipts whenever possible. Pictures, videos, and appraisals when appropriate are helpful as well. Update your personal property inventory each year and verify adequate insurance protection is in place.