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Does my policy cover my home if it is vandalized?

On Behalf of | Mar 16, 2023 | Insurance

Vandalism is a malicious act that damages or destroys someone else’s property. It can be costly and stressful for homeowners, especially if they are not sure whether their insurance policy will cover the damage to their home.

What is vandalism?

Vandalism is defined as the intentional and malicious destruction or defacement of property without the consent of the owner. Vandalism can take many forms, including graffiti and spray paint, arson, smashing locks and windows, salting or damaging lawns, removing signs, damaging fences or gates and cutting wires or pipes.

Vandalism is motivated by various reasons, such as anger, boredom, revenge, hate or political expression. Vandalism can also be a crime, depending on the severity and extent of the damage.

How does homeowners’ insurance cover vandalism?

In Oklahoma, standard homeowners’ insurance policy includes coverage for vandalism. However, not all types of vandalism are covered by insurance. Some exclusions or limitations may apply, such as vandalism caused by you or someone living in your household, or vandalism that occurs while your home is vacant or unoccupied for more than a certain period of time (usually 30 or 60 days).

Vandalism that involves theft or burglary (such as breaking into your home and stealing your belongings) may not be covered, in addition to vandalism that affects certain items or structures that are not part of your dwelling (detached garages, sheds, fences, etc.).

What to do

If you discover that your home has been vandalized, you should take the following steps. First, make sure you get a police report. This will help document the incident and provide evidence for your insurance claim. Take photos and videos of the damage. This will help show the extent and nature of the vandalism and support your claim.

Contact your insurance company and file a claim. You should do this as soon as possible after the vandalism occurs. You will need to provide details about the incident, such as when and how it happened, who was involved (if known), and what was damaged. Your insurance company will either reimburse you for the cost of repairing or replacing the damaged property or pay a contractor directly to do the work.

Vandalism is, unfortunately, a common problem that can affect homeowners in Oklahoma. Fortunately, most homeowners’ insurance policies cover vandalism up to a certain limit. However, you should always check your policy for any exclusions or limitations that may apply.