Owning and running a business is hard enough – and harder if you have to deal with theft or vandalism. A typical business owns thousands of dollars’ worth of property. So does a household.
But if your home or business is robbed or defaced, how do file a valid and strong insurance claim? This article will give you an overview of theft/vandalism insurance and how you can get a theft/vandalism damage property claim lawyer to represent you to increase your chances of receiving proper compensation.
What Is It?
Theft insurance is insurance against a loss of property that has been taken unlawfully – in other words, stolen. Theft insurance can take different forms.
Landlord’s Theft Insurance
If you’re a landlord, you can get landlord contents insurance to protect your furnished assets. With this insurance, your assets should be covered, but your tenant’s belongings are not.
In the case of a break-in, landlord building insurance is inapplicable, but this type of insurance may cover damages from fire and other disasters. It depends on the policy.
Freelancer’s Theft Insurance
Another type of theft insurance is freelancer’s theft insurance. For example, if you’re always on the move and work on a laptop, you’ll want portable equipment insurance. A desktop computer will be insured under a contents insurance policy.
For small business, there is both a tool insurance and stock insurance. Tool insurance will cover the equipment you use to make the products you sell.
Stock insurance protects – you guessed it – your stock.
Vandalism insurance is insurance against damage to property caused by vandals.
Vandalism has a deeper meaning as well. Vandalism occurs when someone damages another person’s business or personal property.
What is Covered by Insurance?
Before you call your insurer to make a claim, you need to know what is covered by your insurance policy and what is not. Most homeowner’s policies will cover personal belongings.
There is a caveat, though. The law, as well as the insurers, make a distinction between burglary and theft. Burglary is defined as breaking in and stealing property.
In contrast, theft is when someone steals your belongings to which they had access to either due to negligence or other means. Thus, theft is not always covered by standard policies.
As a matter of due diligence, it’s always still a good idea to read the wording of a policy carefully you purchase it. You can even get a theft/vandalism damage property claim lawyer to help you understand its ins and outs.
In the case of vandalism, a property that has not been occupied for 60 consecutive days is not covered. You might also want to double-check for this clause in your homeowners’ policy.
In addition, any vandalism by the insured party is also not covered. This is to say that, if you are your spouse have bought a policy together, if either one of you is the cause of the vandalism, the damage will not be covered.
3 Steps When Filing A Claim
Filing a vandalism claim in the proper way will increase your chances of getting a settlement from your insurer. Here are three steps to take when filing a theft/vandalism property damage claim:
Step 1 – Inform the authorities
If there has been vandalism or theft, report it to the police and your insurer. Let your insurer know you have suffered damages and wish to file a claim.
The insurer will want to validate that has there indeed been a theft or act of vandalism. This is why notifying the police of the incident is recommended, as they will keep a record of it.
Step 2 – Document the incident
Gathering proper evidence and documentation of the extent of the damage with pictures or video is always recommended. These can be used as evidence.
Step 3 – Get professional representation
An insurer will always want to minimize the amount they need to pay you. That’s why hiring a theft/vandalism damage property claim lawyer from a reputed firm like Louis Law Group is recommended.
- Does my car insurance cover vandalism or theft?
Ans. This will depend on the specific policy. Comprehensive car insurance should cover vandalism. Read your policy.
- Will I be reimbursed if my property was vacant?
Ans. Typically, vandalism insurance does not cover property that has been vacant for 60 consecutive days.
- Is there is a monetary limit on insurance coverage?
Ans. Yes, more often than not, there will be a certain limit on the extent of damages the insurer will cover. This limit is separate from your main property coverage.
Theft and vandalism can be a difficult time for anyone. When dealing with an insurer, following the right steps, taking pictures and gathering other evidence as proof of the damage, and enlisting professional help like a theft/vandalism damage property claim lawyer should help you receive fair compensation for your losses.