While vandalism may seem like a harmless prank or a victimless crime, it can actually cause thousands of dollars in property damage. If you experience vandalism of your home or business, you can file a claim with your homeowner’s policy to cover the cost of repairing your property and other associated losses.
These are the important steps to take when filing an insurance claim for residential or commercial vandalism.
Check your policy
Not every homeowner’s or business insurance policy covers vandalism, so read the fine print carefully to make sure your coverage will pay for this type of damage. Some basic policies provide an attractively low premium, but offer only the bare minimum when you have to file a claim. If you leave your Florida home vacant for part of the year, you may need an umbrella policy if you have theft or vandalism concerns.
Call the police
Notify law enforcement right away to report a vandalism incident. Your insurance company will request the police report when investigating your case. In addition, Florida prosecutes vandalism as a felony if it interrupts business or causes at least $1,000 in property damage.
File an insurance claim
Your claim should include details about the vandalism along with photos from several different angles and a copy of the the police report. You may want to ask your neighbors if they saw or heard anything on the day of the crime if the police did not already do so. They may provide witness statements if they have information.
You have the right to appeal if you have coverage for vandalism and the insurance company denies your claim.