Understanding your Theft and/or Vandalism Coverage

bigstock-Close-up-of-robber-s-hand-clos-41401426Theft and vandalism, two things that I am not sure I’ll ever be able to wrap my mind around!

For someone to have the audacity to walk into someone else’s home and take or destroy what is not theirs, well it’s just horrible! Besides for the monetary issue, the emotional aspect can be very hard to bare. So when someone is faced with this unfortunate situation, the last thing they want is for their insurance company to rob them of what they are entitled to under their homeowner’s policy.

As always, we hope that you’ll never have to deal with this, but in case you do we want to help you to be informed.

To start take a good look at your policy. Your theft and vandalism coverage can be found in your policy under the category of personal property/belongings.

Most policies will have a basic outline of what is or isn’t covered. Keep your eye out for special limits and restrictions. For example in the case of jewelry most policies will cover up to $1000 per item and up to $5000 total. If your jewelry is worth more than that you might want to consider additional coverage. Make sure to have clear documentation of your valuable belongings, especially those that may not have been purchased by you (for example family heirlooms). You can get these heirlooms appraised in order to assess their value
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Another thing to pay attention to is the language of your policy for theft or vandalism that occurs during “vacancy”. This is a point that causes many claims to be denied. If your property is left “vacant” for a specific amount of days your insurance company may deny your claim, so be sure to look that over and ask your insurance agent about what the bottom line of your policy is since this particular part of your policy is sometimes hard to navigate.

Once you have a clear understanding or your policy, including its limitations you can rest assured that you are covered in the case of theft and/or vandalism. Let’s hope that’s the end of your need to understand this part of your policy! If however you do find yourself in this not so pleasant situation, there are a few more things you’ll need to know.

The first question your insurance company will ask for is proof that the theft and/or vandalism occurred, so make sure to file a detailed police report with a list of all property that was stolen or vandalized. Some details may go unnoticed when you first file a police report in which case you can file a supplemental report to amend your initial one.

Keep detailed documentation of your belongings. The best forms of documentation of your belongings are invoices, receipts, credit card statements, proofs of purchase, pictures, videos and appraisals. The more documentation the better! If documentation of ownership cannot be provided, your insurance company will ask for financial documentation, mainly your tax returns, to assess that your income level and lifestyle match the items on your list. So be sure to keep your records clear and precise!

As always, if you have any questions feel free to contact us. We’re here for YOU, the policy holder.