Vandalism Damage Attorneys in Florida
An unfortunate fact of reality is hurricanes and other natural disasters provide a window of opportunity for ne’er-do-wells and people who want to take advantage of other people’s misfortune. Vandalism claims are all too common in the wake of a hurricane as whole communities are forced to evacuate their homes and leave their belongings unprotected.
Vandalism and theft should be covered by your homeowners policies, but there are some exclusions and exceptions that may make hurricane victims particularly vulnerable to claim denials.
The insurance company will sometimes claim you didn’t properly secure your home when you left it, negating your coverage. There may also be stipulations in your policy regarding home “abandonment”. If your home is left “vacant” for certain periods of time it could negate your vandalism coverage. There are also separate rules for long-term and short-term rentals.
Some policies also have provisions requiring some type of monitoring or alarm system to prevent vandalism or theft. They may try to deny your claim because you weren’t adequately protected to prevent a break in.
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Evidence and Proof Problems
Maybe the most common insurance company rational for denying or undervaluing theft claims is a lack of evidence that you actually owned the possessions you’re claiming to have lost. That’s why it’s often a good idea to keep receipts or records of your property, especially the most expensive pieces. Preparing a home inventory is one thing you should strongly consider doing if your home is in the path of a hurricane.
If you don’t think you have an inventory, don’t completely give up hope. If you’ve purchased items with a credit card, debit card or check there is likely a paper trail you can get from your bank.
Police Reports Are Vital Evidence
One of the most valuable pieces of evidence in a vandalism claim is a police report. Unfortunately for people in the wake of a hurricane, filing a police report isn’t always the easiest thing to do. Your vandalism claim may not be as high a priority for them as helping your neighbors and the community in the aftermath of a hurricane.
Get Help with Your Vandalism Claim in Florida
Home and business owners who have had their property broken into or vandalized in the wake of a hurricane should file a claim with their insurance company. If the insurance company denies your claim or undervalues the extent of property damage or theft, it may be in your best interest to speak with a property damage attorney or an independent claims adjuster.
The experienced vandalism and theft attorneys at Kanner & Pintaluga are here to help. Give us a call at 800-586-5555 to schedule a free case evaluation.
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