Vandalism is an all-to-common issue for property owners. Arriving at your home or commercial property to discover somebody has smashed windows, spray painted graffiti or worse – caused some type of serious structural damage to your property is a terrible feeling.
Vandalism is something to be taken seriously. If the vandals caused more than $1,000 of damage or caused what the law defines as “interruption or impairment of a business operation or public communication, transportation, supply of water, gas or power, or other public service,” then the crime is a third-degree felony.
While minor acts of vandalism are often simply cleaned up by the property owner, in more serious cases, an insurance claim may need to be filed to cover the cost of repairs. Here are 3 tips when filing an insurance claim due to vandalism.
Fire a Police Report
Make sure to call the police and have them come down and make a report. You will need a copy of this report to file your insurance claim. Make sure not to clean up or change anything on site before the police have an opportunity to investigate.
Document the Damage
Make sure to take plenty of photos of the damage. This, along with the police report will help your case when filing a claim with your insurance provider. If the vandals are ever apprehended, this evidence could also be used to help prosecute, or help the court determine restitution.
Know What You’re Entitled To
Luckily, most business and home insurance policies cover vandalism. For homeowners, you are likely entitled to compensation for repairing the physical damage, replacing destroyed personal items, and temporary living expenses, such as a hotel or rental apartment while your home is being restored. For a business, you are generally entitled to repair or replace all damaged items and can receive compensation for business interruption, such as income, payroll, taxes, and mortgage / rent.
Have questions about your property insurance claim? Feel free to contact Stark Loss for more information about how a Public Adjuster can help.