Acts of vandalism can easily cost homeowners thousands of dollars or more. If homeowners fall victim to expensive acts of vandalism, they often ask whether their homeowners insurance will cover the damages.
While each policy differs in exactly what it covers, most homeowners insurance policies cover damages caused by unexpected losses, including damages from fire, extreme weather or an accident.
In contrast, damages from routine wear and tear, floods or earthquakes are ordinarily not covered, unless you purchase special coverage beyond a standard homeowner’s policy.
What about damages from an act of vandalism?
In most instances, homeowner’s insurance covers acts of vandalism. This means that damage from arson, graffiti or other intentional acts by third parties is generally covered, subject to the policy’s deductible.
Each policy varies, so it is important to understand the terms of your particular policy to determine exact coverage. It is also important to recognize that homeowner’s insurance will usually not cover damage if the home has been vacant for 60 or more consecutive days.
What to do if you experience vandalism
If you find yourself a victim of vandalism, there are several steps you should take.
First, you want to contact the police and carefully document damages. Photographs and police reports can be extremely useful to proving the extent of damage.
Second, you should contact your insurance company as soon as possible to report the damage.
Third, you should keep receipts and other documentation of any expenses, including any costs for necessary temporary repairs while you wait for a claims adjuster.
If you have questions about your insurance coverage or are experiencing issues getting an insurer to pay a claim, you should consult with a knowledgeable attorney.