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July 7, 2020

Repairing Property Damage from Home Vandalism or Theft

Repairing Property Damage from Home Vandalism or Theft

If you have ever come home to see that a break-in has occurred, you probably have gotten a sinking feeling of fear and insecurity. Important belongings might be missing. Also, the thieves might have done significant property damage. Therefore, you might feel like you cannot live in your home until you repair this damage. However, help is available from most homeowners insurance policies. Your policy can help you with both the cost of stolen items and many property damage costs.  

Property Damage from Break-Ins  

Consider some of the damage that might result from a household break-in. It might include:  

  • Broken doors and locks  

  • Broken windows  

  • Damaged drawers and containers that thieves broke open  

  • Cut phone lines, electrical wiring, gas lines or damaged security systems  

Some thieves even decide to vandalize your home out of malice. They might break possessions, pour bleach on fabrics or even spray surfaces with paint. Such vandalism could only add to the property damage you have already sustained. Your repair bill might skyrocket.  

Homeowners Insurance for Property Damage  

Most homeowners insurance includes several benefits that can help victims of theft.  

  • Structure insurance can help you pay to repair damage to your house. So, if someone kicked in doors and windows, then this coverage might pay for repairs.  

  • Possessions coverage will pay for the damaged belongings left by the thief. 

  • Loss of use insurance will help you cover living expenses if you have to leave home while repairs occur. Coverage might help you pay for accommodations, dining and more while away from home.  

However, there are limitations to every policy. So, when a thief causes property damage, a few conditions might apply.  

  • Most policies include deductibles. If the cost of your property damage is less than the deductible cost, then your policy will not pay. So, if your house sustains $800 in property damage, but you have a $1,000 deductible, then your policy won’t pay.  

  • Some home insurance excludes vandalism damage to certain items. For example, damage to yard signs or trinkets might not have vandalism protection. In other cases, your policy might only pay you a damaged item’s cash value at the time it sustained damage. 

If you come home to find a break-in and vandalism damage, then immediately call the police. They can take a report of the damage and search for the perpetrator. They might even help you photograph the damage costs. Your insurer will want to know that you have filed the police report so they can better verify the accuracy of your claim. This can help them compensate you accurately for your losses. 

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