Vandalism to both private and public property is a problem whose annual cost across the United States well exceeds $25 billion. Most vandals are young people who with no connection to the property they’re vandalizing.
When comparing insurance policies and coverage, vandalism coverage is often overlooked. Ask your public insurance adjuster what the vandalism portion of your insurance covers.
Vacant homes are the number one target for vandalism. Homes vacant for more than 30 days become targets for vagrants, thieves and vandals alike. Here are 5 tips to help deter vandals:
- Signage. Whether it puts people on notice that your home is protected by security or that it’s for sale, signage is a powerful deterrent. Repeated surveys of jailed criminals have indicated that 60% of criminals will go to a house with no signage versus a house with signage. If you have moved out of your home, install real estate signs such as ‘By appointment only’ or security signs; anything that indicates the home is occupied.
- Park a car out front. If you have already moved out of your home, ask a trusted neighbor to park their car in the driveway. The moving of the car on a daily basis will give the impression that the home is occupied.
- Motion sensor lighting. Keeping a front porch light on a timer and/or a light sensitive side light on at night will deter most would be burglars and vandals because they won’t commit crimes where they may be detected or caught. Install motion sensitive lights in your back yard or in poorly lit areas near your home. If a light’s sensor is activated, the light goes on and a would be criminal is usually deterred.
- Collect the mail. If you are still receiving mail at your home, even after you have moved out, ask your friends, family or close neighbors to collect your mail regularly. Overflowing mailboxes are indicators that a home is unoccupied and therefore a good target for burglary or vandalism.
- Move the lock box. If your home is vacant and on the market, ask your realtor to put the lock box at the back or side of the house. Steven Venook, President of Advocate Claims, says, “Most vandalism insurance claims [as well as burglaries] occur when a lock box is put in front of a house for sale”. Police reports have shown that vandals come in the middle of the night, cut the lock box, drill out the key, and break into the house, causing damages and remove items valuable on the black market such as copper piping, toilets, and cabinets.
These 5 tips can help protect your home from vandalism and burglary. While there is no sure fire way to prevent vandalism, these tips can help deter vandals from selecting your home. Advocate Claims public adjusters have been assisting home and business owners for over 10 years with vandalism insurance claims. If you have recently been a victim of vandalism and need assistance with the vandalism insurance claim process, please call 954-369-0573 to speak with a vandalism insurance claim specialist.