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Can I file an insurance claim if my vacant home was vandalized?

While most standard homeowners insurance policies cover damage resulting from vandalism, there are some important exceptions to the rule that you should understand when filing your claim.

First and foremost, in most policies, your home must not be vacant at the time that the vandalism occurred. Usually, this means that the house was been occupied within the last 60 days. How is “occupied” defined? If your family left for a 61-day vacation and was planning on returning to your home, which was furnished and lived in, your insurance company would likely cover any vandalism damage. If you moved out of your home with no plan on returning in the near future, your home is considered unoccupied and vandalism damage would not be covered by your insurance policy.

You should also note that most insurance companies do not consider homes that are under construction to be vacant. Therefore, if your new home is under construction, it is covered by your insurance company in the case of vandalism, even if no one is currently living in it and even if it is not furnished. Likewise, if your vandalized home is being renovated and has not been lived in for over 60 days, your insurance company may have to cover the damage according to your policy.

Remember:  All homeowners insurance policies are different. The best way to understand when your home is covered in the case of vandalism is to read your contract with the insurance company carefully.

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