Vandalism is an unfortunate crime that happens to many Americans. If you’ve suffered from vandalism, it’s critical to know your next steps and how to prevent damage in the future. Our Hollywood, FL property damage lawyers can help you get the money you deserve from your insurance company.
What Is Vandalism?
Vandalism is purposeful destruction, defacement, or damage to someone else’s property. It can range from misdemeanor charges up to felony charges depending on the severity of the damage.
Your insurance likely has coverage for vandalism, although it may be listed as malicious mischief or malicious acts, so make sure you read your policy thoroughly. Also note that if the property is considered vacant, insurance will likely not offer any coverage for damages.
People vandalize homes and cars for a variety of reasons including revenge, boredom, expressing frustration, or even as a response to a challenge from their peers. Types of vandalism can range from egging someone’s house to breaking windows or slashing tires.
Acts of vandalism can harm your home through physical damage to both the main structure and the surrounding property. The effects aren’t limited to physical property, as these acts can cause uneasiness in family, friends, and neighbors. Remember, vandals often do this for attention and to see their results, so the faster you can clean up the mess, the less likely they are to try again.
What Do You Do if Your Home Has Been Vandalized?
If someone has vandalized your home, it’s critical to take the necessary steps to restore your peace of mind. Let’s work through the process of recovering from this crime.
File a Police Report
First, you will need to file a police report. Contact your local police department and take the steps necessary to document your issue. This is important for both the police and your insurance company.
You should take photos of the damage at your home. This is important to document as it can be used as evidence for both the police and your insurance provider in case additional proof is needed. Make sure to take photos of all areas of your property that experienced damage.
Make a List
It is also vital to make a list of any damaged property. By making a comprehensive list, you are simplifying the process for the insurance company and police, as well as allowing yourself a way to review the damages and figure out the best course of action to repair them.
Call Your Insurance Company
Once you’ve taken photos and made a list, you should call your insurance company to notify them of the damage. This process will likely include filing a property damage claim with them. Make sure you reach out to a professional property damage attorney to assist with your claim.
Finally, you will need to gather documentation of the vandalism for your insurance company and the police. Gathering the police report, list of damages, and other evidence will assist you in verifying everything that can be covered by insurance. You can check the home security footage, ask your neighbors for statements, and look back on the records you created following the incident to ensure you have all the details.
How Do you Protect Your Home From Vandalism?
Preventing vandalism is one of the most significant steps you can take in protecting your property. Here are three ways you can protect your home from this type of crime.
Install a Home Security System
A home security system can prevent vandals from targeting your property. A good security system would include alarms and sensors by your doors and windows, a peephole or doorbell camera so you can see outside without opening the door, and lights for your property to keep it well-lit at all times. Many home security systems nowadays also come with an app so you can check in on your property even when you’re away.
Consider Your Landscaping
Good landscaping is not only decorative – it can protect your property as well. It may be beneficial to plant shrubs and bushes around your windows to make them harder to access from the outside. Additionally, keep shrubbery on your property trimmed to avoid giving hiding places to potential vandals.
Lock Your Home
Finally, locking your doors and windows can prevent vandals from causing more damage to your home. Ensure that every time you leave the house, all ways to enter your home are secured. As an added measure of protection, keep your curtains and blinds closed to prevent anyone from looking inside your home.
Speak to the Professionals
Vandalism is a serious crime that harms many Americans every year. If you’ve been vandalized, it’s critical to file a police report, take photos, make a list, notify your insurance, and gather documentation. You’ll then need to focus on preventing this crime from happening again in the future.
If you’ve experienced vandalism, it’s critical to take reasonable action. We can help you determine your options based on your insurance coverage. We will investigate, negotiate, and litigate your case to get you the results you deserve.
Schedule your free case review today with our Hollywood property damage attorneys. When insurance companies fail, Klotzman Property Damage Law succeeds.