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Which insurance is responsible after a break-in?

Germany has developed into a paradise for burglars. The police counted more than 150,000 break-ins last year and this year it should not be much less. In addition to the emotional shock, a break-in always means great financial and material damage. Many burglar victims wonder which insurance is actually responsible when burglars have cleared the house or apartment. Who pays for the damage and what happens if the insurance company refuses to pay?

How do the police define a burglary?

A burglary always occurs if an “unauthorized third person forcibly gains access by breaking in, getting in or breaking into someone else’s apartment”. It is clearly a break-in if the doors or windows show signs of break-ins. However, proof is also if the inventory or individual objects have either been destroyed or stolen. If nothing is missing in the house or apartment, but the furnishings are broken, then the police do not speak of a break-in, but of vandalism. Like burglary, vandalism is also a case for household contents insurance , which generally covers all damage.

What is insured?

Is insured basically all household items , including the garage. In the case of apartments, in addition to household items, the storage rooms in the basement or the attic are also insured if these rooms can be locked. In order to get the inventory back in the same type and quality, the household insurance always replaces the so-called replacement value of the stolen items. That means, the replacement value is always the price that the burglar victims have to pay if they want to buy the items again. Finding these prices is not always that easy. The prices for many electrical devices are falling because there are constantly new devices with even better technology. On the other hand, the insurance company also has to calculate the inflation rate, which also plays an important role in determining the price.

What else does the insurance company pay?

After a break-in, the household insurance also covers repairs the broken door or window. If the burglars have vandalized the apartment , then the insurance pays for the tidying up and cleaning work together with the damaged security technology. If an apartment or house is no longer habitable after a break-in, the household contents insurance will cover the hotel in which the insured person is staying during the repair. However, this only applies for a limited period of time, which is different for each insurance company. In order for the insurance to cover the costs, the customer has to meet certain conditions.

What do customers have to consider?

It is quite possible that the insurance will refuse to cover the damage after a break-in. This is the case when the windows and the front door have not been locked. The term “closed” is flexible. There are insurers who refuse to cover the damage if the front door is only locked and not locked. Other insurance companies are more generous. You pay even if the door is not locked with the key. The same goes for the windows. Some pay with a window tilted, others only with a closed window. Another very important criterion are the traces that the burglars have left . The insurance only pays if there are visible signs of burglary. If a burglar previously worked as a thief and stole the handbag with keys and papers, then there may be problems with the insurance. The burglar didn’t have to force open the door, he had a key. Some insurance companies do not pay in this case. Your argument: The customer was not careful enough with his personal items such as the house key and ID.

How does the insurance company determine the value of the contents?

The sum insured always includes the complete value of the house is insured . However, this value is very difficult to determine. Most insurance companies therefore assume a value of 650 euros per square meter of living space. Those who only adhere to the minimum insured amount run the risk of being underinsured. It therefore always makes sense to have expensive furnishings, new electronic devices or a new bicycle included in your existing household insurance.


A break-in is a bad experience. Although ideal values ​​can never be replaced, material damage should definitely be covered by household insurance. Only if this is the case does a break-in not mean financial disaster.

Image: @ depositphotos.com / BrianAJackson

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