Tampa Vandalism & Arson Attorney
Vandalism and other intentional damage to homes is covered under most insurance policies, though each claim must be investigated to determine the true cost of the damage, how the damage occurred, and whether or not insurance fraud has been committed on behalf of the insured. The Tampa vandalism & arson attorneys of HD Law Partners assist insurers with investigation and litigation into all matters of vandalism, arson, and other intentional home damage to ensure that our clients do not make overpayments or pay out on claims that should be denied.
Types of Vandalism
The average vandalism and malicious mischief claim amounts to around $5,000, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Vandalism is performed by a complete stranger with a taste for destruction and mischief, or by an enemy looking to settle a score. In either case, the act is illegal and the damages are covered under Florida homeowners’ insurance policies. Examples of types of vandalism that are generally covered perils include the following:
- Gluing locks;
- Slashing tires;
- Throwing rocks through windows;
- Clogging sinks and leaving the water running; and
- Ringing trees.
Arson is another form of intentional and illegal home destruction covered by insurers, and is usually much more costly than vandalism.
Damage to or Theft of Personal Property
Personal property lost due to vandalism, arson, or theft is under generally covered under most homeowners’ insurance policies. Insurers are either obligated to replace personal property at fair market value or at replacement cost, if such a policy is purchased. Most policies cover personal property damages at fair market costs, which many homeowners unfortunately do not understand, and therefore may challenge a denied claim. Moreover, most homeowners do not have enough personal property insurance to cover the majority of their property if it is all destroyed in a fire or their expensive property is stolen due to burglary. In fact, a recent survey by insruance.com found that 29 percent of respondents believed that personal property coverage replaced all of the value of the items in their home, while seven percent believed that it covered the cost of replacing trees and landscaping. This shows why so many homeowners refuse to accept denied claims and offers for lower claim values for their personal property damage.
Vandalism is Not a Covered Peril if the Home is Unoccupied or Vacant
Unoccupied or vacant homes are a target for vandalism, theft, and squatters, all of which can cause tens of thousands of dollars in damage in a short period of time. Homes that have been unoccupied for a specified time (generally 30-60 days depending on the policy) are not covered for damage caused by vandalism.
A Tampa Vandalism and Arson Attorney is Available to Help You Today
To avoid overpayments from exaggerated, fraudulent, or unfounded claims, call the Tampa vandalism and arson lawyers at HD Law Partners today at 813-964-7878 to schedule a free consultation. We provide professional legal services, including litigation, to protect you from unfounded vandalism and arson claims.