Vandalism cannot be predicted or stopped unless the authorities’ step in. But, the question is, is vandalism covered in homeowners insurance?
Generally, vandalism coverage can be unpredictable in a homeowner’s insurance policy unless, it is specifically excluded. Vandalism coverage applies to unoccupied homes but not to vacant homes after a period of time.
If an unoccupied property still contains the personal goods of the policy owner and he or she decides to leave for a month vacation or for a temporary job, and his or her belongings remain on the property, then vandalism coverage would still apply.
On a vacant home, most policies provide limits on how long a home can be vacant. The usual period is between 30 and 60 days. To be vacant, the home must be empty and free of the owner’s personal property. For example, if you were selling your home and you were moving out, you would take all of your personal belongings with you, causing vandalism coverage to no longer be applicable.
The most common type of vandalism is graffiti, which accounts for 35 percent of cases according to the Bureau of Justice Statistics. With that being said, there’s a lot more than just spray paint to worry about when it comes to your home. You may be glad to have protection against vandalism on your homeowners insurance policy if your outdoor lights or windows were to be broken, if your home gets catches fire, or if your plumbing is tampered with. These are just a few examples though, especially because vandalism can come in seemingly endless forms and is often the result of random insurgency or teen peer pressure. (Roughly 40 percent of vandalism arrests always involve juveniles). Vandalism can be especially hard to anticipate. Which, is all the more reason to secure your home and your property. Purchasing homeowners insurance can help protect you against a variety of hazards that might harm your house and your personal belongings.
Most insurers offer vandalism insurance as part of a homeowner’s policy. However, since specific coverages vary from insurer to insurer, one should not assume that you’re fully covered. It’s best to contact your provider to verify that you are fully covered. You would hate to be counting on vandalism insurance, only to find out that after an incident has taken place, you will be required to pay to fix this incident out of your own pocket. Some basic homeowner’s plans do not include coverage for vandalism but, you may be able to add it as a named peril.
If your property is vacant for a significant amount of time, then your vandalism coverage may not apply. Vandalism coverage varies from policy to policy, so it would be best to speak with your insurer about time period restrictions. Also, if you are going to be away for a significant amount of time, be sure to inform your insurance company beforehand.