ST. CROIX INSIGHTS

Being Robbed – Life Lessons Learned

BY BRETT ANDERSON/ST.CROIX ADVISORS, LLC

It’s not surprising; it’s something I hear on a regular basis. Just change the dollar amount for how much your household makes. I bet most of us can relate especially when you have a couple of kids, mortgage, car payment, are saving for retirement, etc.

“It’s not a topic that usually comes up in conversation, “Have you ever been robbed?” I’ve actually been robbed twice at two of my homes. From my perspective it’s not about the stuff they took. It’s actually the inconvenience, financial impact and hassles that go along with it. And there is a sense of feeling violated. “

So here are a few of life’s lessons I learned from these unfortunate experiences:

  • Security systems won’t stop everyone. If they really want your stuff, you’re probably not going to stop them no matter what safeguards you have. However, I want to thank Jeff Rahn who owns Rahn Home Services for my new security system. I can’t believe the quality of the camera images at night to record what’s happening in and outside of my home. I’m still not going to leave my doors unlocked because I feel that if you’re going to steal my stuff, you should have to work a little for it.
  • Keep track of what you have. So, the bastards take your stuff. Smartphones, iPads, computers and the list goes on and on and it adds up quickly. One reason I shop at MicroCenter for my technology is because they retain your serial numbers for all your equipment. I’d recommend you take a few minutes to capture all your tech serial numbers so when they look to pawn them, you can catch them! I have pictures of the serial numbers on each of my items. It doesn’t hurt to take pictures of home, rooms, closets, and what’s inside your drawers so you can remember and replace.
  • I hate shopping, I really do. I really don’t enjoy shopping and having to replace all those items they stole I view that as extremely wasteful because what I had was already good and worked.
  • Know a good handyman. In one of our robberies, they broke a lower level window and there was glass everywhere. Chances are crooks are going to do physical damage to your home. So it’s good to know a good handyman who can make quick, safe repairs.
  • Double check your insurance policy. Insurance companies are really good at sending your invoices each month, quarter or year. But are they good when it counts when you have to file a claim? That’s really when the rubber meets the road. Do they step up and come through or are they trying to punt? So far mine has stepped up. Not 100%, but I’m not going to complain. It’s worth revisiting your coverage levels.
  • Research identity theft protection. I have a client in the identity theft prevention business and he believes our identity is out there in dozens of different ways. Take steps today to help prevent your identity from being stolen. LifeLock or similar services help prevent that from happening. Many homeowner’s policies also have some coverage to help in this matter. I’m sure you’ve experienced someone using your credit card number a few states away or that flight booked from a country you’ve never been to.

Bottom-line for me is it’s about the hassle and inconvenience of all this. I can replace the stuff and at the end of day it’s just stuff. Take a step or two today to help minimize the hassle and inconvenience in the event you are robbed or your identity is stolen. Please also see my blog on Cyber Security for extra steps unfortunately we need to take today.

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