What should I do if someone vandalized my home or stole my stuff? Am I covered?
If you come home to find that someone has broken in, stolen your valuables or vandalized your home, above all else make sure you’re safe – especially if you think that that the burglars or vandals might still be in the house or nearby. Go somewhere safe, away from your home and call 911. Wait for police to arrive before entering the home. Don’t worry about insurance as theft and vandalism are covered under most home policies.
What should I do once everything is safe?
After police have arrived and it’s safe to go back into your home, take pictures of of all the damage – like broken windows, damaged doors, ransacked drawers, etc.
Take notes of what was taken and how much it’s worth. If it’s less than your deductible, you probably don’t need to make a claim.
If it’s a lot more, call us or the insurance company we placed you with to start a claim.
Gather as much documentation as possible to support your claim. If you have receipts, pictures or videos of any lost or damaged items that will help you speed things up. Remember, if you have any questions we’re here to help.
Should I Make a Claim?
Unlike car insurance, which has strict government-mandated rules about how much insurers can charge and what criteria they can use to determine your premiums, home insurance is sold in more of a traditional free market system. In practical terms, that means that your insurance company will be more likely to increase your premiums if you make frequent claims, regardless of whether they are your fault.
It’s very rare that an insurer would increase your premiums dramatically for a single claim, but if you do make a claim, you want it to be worth your while. Especially if you’ve already made a claim in the last 5 years, if you suffer a loss, before you call your insurer, calculate roughly how much the claim would be, minus your deductible. If the amount is something you can afford to pay yourself, it may be worthwhile to avoid the claim. Otherwise, it’s possible you could find yourself paying it all back and then some in premiums over the next few years.