Updated: Jul 10, 2020
One of the first things any agent will tell you is to make sure you're properly covered. But times are tough right now. And you have to save money where you can. You're a good driver, a safe homeowner. Sure there was that speeding ticket you got twelve years ago. But you've never filed a claim. Besides that 1-800-saveyoumoney company says they'll save you $300 a year if you switch. You reduce your coverage, lower your rates and BAM-- 2020 hits.
The coronavirus has been devastating and many of us will never recover from the two months at home in isolation. But over the last few days our focus has shifted and we've gone from government mandated lock-down to chaos in the streets. Small businesses that were finally able to open back up were set on fire. Cars were vandalized. Angry messages spewed across community walls and sidewalks with spray paint. Now is not the time to ask yourself:
"Am I covered?"
And yet, here we are.
The general answer is yes. Vandalism, arson and civil unrest are covered on most commercial, homeowners, renters and auto policies with comprehensive coverage. If your property was damaged due to recent riots and you need to file a claim, here's what you do:
Preserve you property
Once it is safe to do so you should do your best to secure your property from further damages to avoid further losses. This is known in the insurance world as "mitigation". Failing to do so could result in your claim being denied.
Report the claim to your insurance company immediately
Call your agent, broker or insurance company as soon as possible. Claims that involve criminal activity may have certain reporting deadlines that you will be required to meet. So its important to report the incident promptly to avoid any hiccups.
Document the damages
You should take pictures or video of the damaged property. You might not need this now but it could very easily come up later.
Keep a detailed log
You should keep a dedicated log for documenting any communication you have with the insurance company, your agent, adjusters and anyone else you speak with in regards to the incident. Be sure to find out if there are any conditions or exclusions that may affect your claim being covered.
(You should also keep track of any expenses you incur if emergency repairs are needed to preserve your property.)
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