It's easy to feel shaken when you notice that your home has been targeted by vandals, whether they've thrown a rock through a window, spray-painted your garage door or performed some other type of property crime. If the damage is minor, you might simply opt to fix it yourself, but if the vandalism was considerable, you'll likely want to file an insurance claim. Before you talk to your local insurance agent, there are a handful of tasks to complete that can help you prepare a stronger claim. Here are some areas on which to focus.
See If Any Neighbors Witnessed The Crime
Any insurance claim can be bolstered by witnesses, so make it a priority to speak to those who live in your neighborhood to see if someone saw what happened. While you'll want to find someone who actually saw the act take place, it's helpful even if someone simply saw certain individuals loitering around your property or trespassing around the time that you believe the vandalism occurred. If any of your neighbors has a video camera set up, see if it could possibly catch a glimpse of your property and provide details about the vandalism. Take down the phone numbers for any neighbors who can provide some insight when your insurance company is working on the claim.
Document The Scene Meticulously
Your insurance adjuster will want to see as many photos as possible of the vandalism, so use your camera or cellphone to take as many photos as possible that depict the vandalism. For example, if a rock was thrown through your window, take photos of the window from the inside and out, as well as a photos of the rock where it sits inside your home. If the rock was clearly removed from your walkway or garden, for example, take a photo of this scene, too. It's better to have a surplus of photos than to accidentally omit something.
File A Police Report
If you plan on making an insurance claim for the vandalism, it's helpful to have a copy of a police report. To do so, you'll need to call your local police force and explain the situation. Because it's not an urgent call, you may need to wait a while before someone is dispatched to document the crime and write a report, so don't move anything until the police officer arrives. When the report is complete, you'll receive a copy that you can then forward to your insurance company and begin the claim process.
To learn more, contact an insurance agency like Ronald H. Krupa Insurance Agency.