You may be surprised that most homeowner’s policies include protection from vandalism and theft. Although the damage may be caused by humans and not “acts of God”, the coverage is still the same in terms of the protection provided. It is important to know that not all homeowner’s policies include such protections, but they can often be added as a named peril for a minimal cost.
The same is true for theft which is also covered in most policies. You will need to check the policy and perhaps call your insurance agent to ensure that you have protection against theft and vandalism.
Types of Vandalism
Vandalism comes in different forms which means that different types of repairs will be needed to address the damage:
- Broken Windows and Outdoor Lights
- Salted Lawn and Dug Up Garden
- Trees or Bushes Cut
- Plumbing Tampered
- Glued Locks
- House is Egged and more
Basically, any type of substantial damage to your home that was caused by a person or persons with intent falls under the category of vandalism.
Limitations: Keep in mind that vandalism may not apply to vacation homes or investment properties that have been vacant for a considerable period. This is because the lack of anyone’s presence in the home for extended periods of time makes coverage for vandalism impractical.
How It Works
If your home has been subject to vandalism, theft, or both, the first step is to call the police and file an official police report. Vandalism and theft are considered misdemeanors unless they reach a certain level of damage or loss, in which case they become felonies. An official police report is often required as part of claiming losses from vandalism or theft.
Document: You will need to document all the damage that was done to your home because of the vandalism and record all losses due to theft. This should include any incidental damage that was caused to your home. Be sure to record everything so that you can get the maximum amount for your claim.
Estimates: For homes that have been vandalized, you will need to call up a few restoration companies that repair such damage and get estimates. Three estimates are normal in most situations, although you will need to consult with your insurance company to find out about the exact requirements. Once your claim goes through, one of the estimates will be honored and they will perform the repairs on your home.
Losses: Once everything has been documented, the next step is to record all the losses that need to be replaced. For theft, this will also be part of the police report, but a separate entry never hurts. For those who are interested in a little preventative action, recording all your larger purchases of $500 or more for items and keeping their serial numbers can be helpful to the police and to your insurance company. You will submit your claim to the insurance company based on the information you provide. In addition, there may be added stipulations to the policy that require additional information.