There are few more upsetting situations than having your home broken into and your personal possessions stolen, or your home vandalized. Once you have recovered from the initial shock, you usually turn to your insurance company to help you get your claim paid so you can put your life back in order. Many homeowners who have faithfully paid their premiums and never had the need to file a claim have a real shock when they realize that their insurance company does not want to compensate them at the level that they need to actually replace the items stolen, as well as repair any damage to their homes after a break in. Vandalism claims differ from theft claims, so double check what your policy covers.
Vandalism claims will just include things like damaged property (i.e. broken windows) while theft claims involve stolen property. If your property was stolen, then you will have to file a burglary report instead of a vandalism report. Theft claims are the most highly scrutinized by insurance companies because they can be easy to falsify. Most insurance policies will require the property owner to first notify the police so that an accurate report can be made before contacting the insurance company. A police report will add legitimacy to any vandalism or theft claim. However, a police report may not always be accurate either. Police officials may over or under report damages which cause insurance companies to make their own assessment of the damages.
You are at the mercy of the insurance carrier in the adjustment and payment of their claim for damages. Insurance companies are a business; they are in business to make a profit. To increase profits, insurance companies control and limit the amount of money they pay out in claim damages to their insured’s. The simple fact is; the less insurance carriers’ pay to claimants; the more money and profit they make for themselves. Make sure that you keep careful track of the amount of your losses so that you can compare this with your deductible. Many people whose amount of property stolen was less than the cost of their deductible should be advised not to file a claim.
If you have even the most basic form of homeowner insurance, you are likely covered in the event of vandalism or theft What we can do is review your policy to make sure we understand what you are entitled to and then investigate your claim as well. Remember, no two vandalism claims are alike, so make sure you understand your policy.