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Home Insurance and Vandalism — Here’s what to Know

You might be aware of the most common ways your homeowners insurance protects you. Fire damage, burglary, windstorm, hail and liability are just a few common scenarios where your policy helps cover resulting damages. But do you know that vandalism is also covered by your policy? From broken lights to a smashed-in mailbox, let’s take a closer look at how your home insurance helps financially protect you from vandalism.

What Is Vandalism?

Simply put, the definition of vandalism is purposefully destroying or defacing someone’s property without their consent. It’s done in many types of ways — anything from smashing light fixtures to egging someone’s home. Basically, if someone intentionally does something to damage your property without your approval, it qualifies as vandalism.

Common acts of vandalism to the home include:

  • Spray painting, painting or drawing on the home
  • Breaking outdoor lights or windows
  • Slashing tires
  • Egging your home
  • Tampering with plumbing
  • Cutting trees or bushes without permission
  • Arson
  • Gluing locks
  • Salting or destroying your lawn

Is Vandalism Covered Under Your Home Insurance Policy?

Your home is your sanctuary, and if someone were to invade your space with an act of vandalism, why should you be left responsible for resulting damages? That’s why most homeowners insurance policies include coverage for acts of vandalism.

Do You Need Vacant Home Insurance?

Vandals love vacant homes and often choose them as their target. While most homeowner policies have provisions removing coverage for vandalism after a home has been vacant for 30 days (60 days in some states), many companies will cancel coverage as soon as they become aware that a home is vacant. If your home will be vacant, talk to your agent about the length of time it will be vacant and what measures you will be taking to secure it. Your agent may need to acquire coverage for you from a specialty insurance carrier while your home is vacant.

What Should You Do If Your Home Has Been Vandalized?

If you’re the victim of vandalism to your home, you’ll want to follow the below steps to make sure you get the most out of filing an insurance claim.

  • Call the police and file an extensive police report. This report will be vital to your insurance claim, since it’s a detailed and accurate account of the damages that occurred.
  • Take pictures of the crime scene for evidence.
  • You can try to minimize the damage, like boarding up a broken window, but don’t make any repairs before your claims adjuster comes to look at your house.
  • Call your insurance company to file a claim. Make sure you have all the important documentation so you can better make your case — photos, videos and an inventory of anything destroyed will be helpful when filing your insurance claim.

While it’s tough to prepare for an act of vandalism, you can be proactive about your protection by making sure you have the proper homeowners insurance in place. Connect with your American Family Insurance agent who will help you gain peace of mind that you have the right coverage to financially safeguard your home from the unexpected.

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Related Topics: At Home , Home Insurance