Although Austin is one of the safest cities in Texas, it isn’t completely without its share of crime. Vandalism occurs perhaps more often than you think, and many of the disturbances take place at homes. This type of crime makes a large impact on victims, as it not only causes property damage, but can destroy peace of mind for the homeowners. Knowing that perpetrators singled out your home with the intent of causing damage is not only disturbing, but frightening as well. In fact, it may bother you so much that you consider moving because the home has been tarnished in your mind. Unfortunately, homeowners’ insurance can’t help you with the psychological damage you experience, but it may cover the property damage that was caused.
The Most Common Types of Home Vandalism
According to the Austin Police Department, the term “vandalism” refers to criminal mischief that occurs when your property is intentionally damaged or destroyed. Most people simply think of graffiti when they hear the word vandalism, but in fact, it can be much more dangerous and damaging. Some of the most common types of home vandalism include:
- Cutting your trees or bushes
- Salting or destroying your lawn
- Burning your home or other objects on your property
- Gluing your locks
- Tampering with your plumbing
- Digging up your garden
- Egging your home
- Painting or marking your home or property
- Breaking your windows or outdoor lights
Although some of the damage is more severe than others, it shouldn’t be your responsibility to repair. In fact, some homeowners are often left to pick up the pieces of what happened to their homes when it wasn’t their fault, which isn’t fair. For this reason, it is extremely important to determine what your homeowners’ insurance policy says about vandalism.
The Truth About Your Homeowners’ Insurance Policy and Vandalism
When your kitchen window is broken at 3:00 in the morning, you’re going to need a replacement right away. Unfortunately, that replacement will likely costs hundreds of dollars. Do you have that kind of cash lying around? The answer may be “no,” and even if you do, you don’t want to spend it on a broken window that wasn’t destroyed by you. Hopefully, your homeowners’ insurance will cover the expense.
Every policy is different and you should always check with the specifics of yours before you assume you have coverage, but many policies cover the cost of repairs due to vandalism. However, what different insurance companies consider vandalism may vary. Additionally, the policy may have some restrictions. For instance, if the property hasn’t been occupied for a certain amount of time, the vandalism may not be covered. Similarly, a vacation home may not be covered for vandalism if you were not occupying the house at the time of the incident.
When Your Home Is Vandalized
Knowing what to do when you’ve been the victim of vandalism is essential to not only holding the perpetrators responsible, but for getting the compensation you deserve. Before you do anything, make sure you leave the scene completely untouched. The police need the crime scene to stay intact to increase their chances of finding the criminal, and the claims adjuster will also need to see exactly what damage has taken place.
You’ll also need to call the police and file a report, as well as call your insurance company and make a claim. The next call you should make is to your lawyer, to ensure that you receive the coverage you were promised and deserve.
Don’t Let the Insurance Company Make You a Victim
You’ve already been through enough. You don’t need the extra and unfair stress of receiving inadequate help and unfair denials from the insurance company. You pay good money to ensure that you and your property are taken care of in times just like these, and when the insurance company doesn’t hold up its end of the agreement, you may have legal options. The attorneys of Wayne Wright want to help you receive the compensation you deserve. Find out your legal options by calling 800-237-3334.