Was Your Home Vandalized or Burglarized after a Storm?
Hurricanes and other storms can substantially damage the structure of your home. But a weakened home also invites thieves and vandals. If you fled Florida during a storm, you might be returning home to more than water damage behind the walls. Someone could have taken this opportunity to break in and clean out your home or to vandalize the structure with graffiti.
At Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. our hurricane insurance claim lawyers strive to ensure that our clients are fully compensated after a damaging storm. If your home has been vandalized or burglarized, please contact us. We can walk you through your legal options.
Legal Issues that Arise with Theft or Vandalism
Most homeowners’ insurance policies should cover theft and vandalism. However, legal issues regularly crop up after a storm that can complicate getting a claim approved. For example:
- Your insurer might claim your actions invited vandalism or theft. For example, your door might have been blown off, but you do not put up a new one quickly or hammer the old one in place. You also might have refused to take portable valuables, like jewelry, to keep safe off premises. Don’t be surprised if an insurer points the finger at you as contributing to your loss.
- Your insurer might claim you didn’t really have the property you claim was stolen. You will need proof in the form of receipts, photographs, etc.
- Your insurer could argue that the vandalism falls outside the four corners of the insurance policy. You should consult with an attorney to make sure you understand what exactly is covered.
- Your insurer might minimize the value of the items stolen. This is just another way to reduce the payout that an insurer makes to their insured. For example, they might claim a stolen television is older than it was, so it would be considered less valuable.
Any one of these issues can be difficult to handle on your own, so the experience of an attorney is vital.
Complications with Condos & Apartment Buildings
Renters and condo owners face the added complexity where there are usually multiple policies in play. For example, you might have stored items in a common area such as the basement or a common room. If they are stolen or vandalized from there, a question often arises about which policy covers the loss—your policy or the policy held by the building owner. Often, each insurance company will claim the other is responsible.
Navigating issues involving conflicting or overlapping coverage is difficult. Ideally, you will meet with an attorney to review your situation.
Bundza & Rodriguez Can Help
Our Daytona Beach property damage lawyers at Bundza & Rodriguez, P.A. have helped countless owners make an initial claim or appeal a denial. Please avoid delay. The days following a storm can be very disorientating, but homeowners must move quickly to properly document their losses to strengthen their claim.
Let us help. You can schedule a free consultation with our Daytona Beach hurricane insurance claims lawyers by calling or sending in our contact form.