Theft and vandalism claims are among the most common insurance claims, but they also require some of the most care and attention, as they can be incredibly complicated from the insured’s point of view.
To start, insurance providers will ask many questions with regards to theft and vandalism claims. These include: whether a theft actually occurred? Did the insured even own the items they say are missing? Did the insured take proper steps to protecting their valuables? Does an item really cost this much? All these questions, and more, can be answered with evidence.
This is the most important aspect of a theft and vandalism claim: have evidence. Evidence can be considered many things, but the most necessary of which is a police report. By filing a police report and giving a copy of it to your insurance company, your claim becomes far more legitimate in the eyes of the policy vendor. Be sure to list all items that were broken or missing on this report, as the police report’s contents should match your insurance claim. If you were to discover more items to be missing, you must inform the police to update your report; then you should notify your insurance company that you have filed to update your report for missing items so that they can then update your claim. Other important forms of evidence include photographs, videos, descriptions, and appraisals of the items that were stolen or vandalized. This information is critical in determining the value of the missing items; especially with the more expensive pieces.
Even with an official appraisal document for an item like jewelry, your insurance company may go to another appraiser to receive a lower replacement cost: effectively lowering your payout. To avoid this, ask your policy provider for their appraiser, so that any confusion or confrontation is avoided in the case of theft or vandalism. Your insurance provider may even ask for your tax returns, credit card statements, or a statement under oath as proof that you would purchase the items missing, although this is uncommon if other concrete forms of evidence are provided first.
As with other types of claims, your policy may cap out at a certain price; one that may be too low to replace expensive items. To combat this, be sure to list these unique items separately on your policy when you are first acquiring the homeowner’s policy, as these items can be considered far more valuable and unique than standard personal property.
While theft and vandalism claims are incredibly common, they can be very difficult without the help of a knowledgeable Public Adjuster. To save yourself time and increase the payout of your theft and vandalism claim, call us today for our professional Public Adjuster’s assistance.