No matter what the circumstances, coming back to find something you own destroyed or damaged is a poor surprise. If you haven’t experienced vandalism before (and may you never do), it can be especially shocking. As you start to recover and take stock of the damage, there are few extra steps you’ll need to take to ensure this act will be covered and replaced/repaired by your insurance company.
1. File a police report.
Not only will this create a record in your community, but also most insurance providers require a copy of the police report before they’ll proceed with processing. Regardless of how much damage was caused, vandalism is considered a serious crime with intent behind it. By involving the police, they may be able to investigate and uncover the person responsible. If the identity of the vandal becomes known, either you or your insurance company could take additional legal measures to collect financial damages directly from the individual(s). This process will take much longer, though. Most people just opt to take the reimbursement from the insurance company and then allow the carrier to try to extract that money back from the perpetrator. Either way, you need to get the ball rolling with the police report.
2. Call your insurance agent.
After all, that’s what we’re here for! We can advise you on the exact details of your policy, as well as collect information to get the paperwork started. For example, we’ll need to know when/where the incident occurred (approximately), how bad is the damage, where would you prefer to have it repaired, what’s the best number to reach you, etc. With this knowledge, we’ll have a better idea of how it fits under your current policy. Typically, vandalism falls under the comprehensive election of an insurance policy, which not everyone has. It’s a little more expensive, so some people choose to go without it. Or, it’s possible that you have the coverage, but with a high deductible. In that case, we’ll work with you to evaluate whether it’s worth it to file a claim. Either way, you should use our office for assistance! Calling into the carrier directly is always an option, but we can provide a much more personalized customer service experience for all of our clients.
3. Cooperate with the claims adjuster.
It’s not unusual for the adjuster to become involved in cases of vandalism. Statistically, claims related to theft or vandalism are more fraudulent than any others. So, even if you’ve done everything exactly as we’ve suggested, you’ll still probably be contacted by an insurance adjuster. He/She may request to assess the damages in person, or ask for additional images. They’ll also cross- reference your current claim paperwork to scan for potential red flags. Once this part is over though, you can proceed with the repairs, rental car (If necessary), and reimbursement.
While we hope you never have to deal with this situation, you can count everyone at Freedom Insurance as a trusted resource in the event of an emergency. Allow us to walk you through the process and work to help you repair whatever damages the vandal has inflicted. We’re also available to answer questions about your policy any time. If doesn’t have to be an emergency situations for you to reach out!