According to Forbes, Expect Halloween to Spike in Vandalism and Home Damage (https://www.forbes.com/
There can be pitfalls when it comes to insurance claims related to vandalism. In this blog, we'll explore some common reasons why insurance coverage for vandalism may be declined and discuss steps you can take to avoid these pitfalls.
- Lack of Sufficient Documentation
One of the most common pitfalls in vandalism insurance claims is the lack of sufficient documentation. To prove your case, you'll need to provide evidence of the damage and the circumstances surrounding it. This typically includes photographs, police reports, and any other relevant information. If you fail to document the incident properly, your insurance claim may be declined, leaving you to bear the costs of repairs or replacement.
To avoid this pitfall, take clear, high-quality photographs of the damage as soon as you discover it. Report the vandalism to the police, as an official report can be crucial in validating your claim. Additionally, keep a detailed record of any expenses incurred as a result of the vandalism, such as repair or replacement costs.
- Delayed Reporting
Another significant pitfall is not reporting the vandalism to your insurance company promptly. Most insurance policies have a time limit for reporting incidents. If you exceed this limit, your claim may be denied. It's essential to contact your insurer as soon as you discover the vandalism, even if you're unsure about the extent of the damage.
- Misunderstanding Policy Coverage
Not all insurance policies are the same, and not all vandalism incidents are covered equally. A common pitfall is misunderstanding what your insurance policy covers. Policies can vary widely, and some may exclude specific types of vandalism or have limitations on coverage.
To avoid this pitfall, review your policy carefully and consider discussing it with your insurance agent or broker to ensure you have a clear understanding of what is covered and what is not.
- Neglecting Preventative Measures
Some insurance companies may decline coverage for vandalism if they believe you did not take sufficient precautions to prevent the incident. For example, leaving your car unlocked in a high-crime area may result in a declined claim if it's vandalized. Homeowners are often advised to take steps to secure their property, such as installing security systems, as a condition of coverage.
To avoid this pitfall, be proactive in safeguarding your property against vandalism. Install security measures, lock your doors and windows, and take other preventive actions as recommended by your insurance company.
- Criminal Activity Involvement
Insurance companies may deny claims if they suspect the policyholder was involved in the vandalism or if the vandalism was a result of illegal activity. This is another pitfall to be aware of, as any connection to criminal activity can jeopardize your claim.
To avoid this pitfall, cooperate fully with law enforcement during their investigation, and do not engage in any illegal activities that could cast doubt on your claim's legitimacy.
Experiencing vandalism is stressful enough without having to worry about a denied insurance claim. To avoid the pitfalls associated with declined insurance coverage from vandalism, take proactive steps to protect your property, document any incidents, report them promptly, and have a clear understanding of your policy's coverage. In case you do encounter a declined claim, don't hesitate to discuss the situation with your insurer or seek legal advice to explore your options for appeal. Remember, insurance is there to provide financial protection, and understanding the process can help you navigate it effectively.
At the Voss Law Firm we strive to help you get back to normal as fast as possible after an insurance denial or “low ball” offer. If you feel you have been unfairly treated by your insurance company, please call (888) 296-1986, input your information for a Free Claim Review or chat with us today.