Mailboxes are typically in a vulnerable position close to the street, making them easy targets for vandalism or being hit by passing vehicles. It is definitely not unheard of for homeowners to come home from work and find their mailbox is damaged, and if this is the case, you might be wondering if your homeowner’s insurance will cover it.
The answer depends on the policy and the situation, but your mailbox might be eligible for coverage.
How was the mailbox damaged?
The first question to consider is how the mailbox was damaged.
Of course, accidents happen, and the fact that mailboxes tend to hang out close to roadways means that it is easy for homeowners to hit them accidentally. If this is the case, you might get some reimbursement through your car insurance policy, but your homeowners insurance company will not cover it.
Keep in mind that if you suspect criminal activity like theft, vandalism, or a hit and run, the first thing to do is to file a police report on the incident. If local law enforcement can find out who was responsible, you might be eligible for restitution. Meanwhile, if another driver damages the mailbox and remains on the scene, they will have to reimburse you for the mailbox, either personally or through the liability coverage of their car insurance policy.
That being said, if the mailbox’s damage resulted from some sort of outside event, a standard home insurance policy might be able to provide some relief. If you end up with a busted mailbox due to a weather event or a criminal act, there is still a chance a standard home insurance policy might cover it, but there are some other factors to take into account before you make a claim.
Is my mailbox covered under other structures?
Sometimes mailboxes may be covered as an outdoor fixture, but this is not always the case. Generally speaking, standard homeowner insurance policies typically cover detached structures like sheds, driveways, and maybe even trees and shrubs under the Other Structures Coverage section. Still, mailboxes don’t always make the list.
If you’re unsure if your Other Structures policy covers your mailbox, be sure to contact your provider to find out more.
Is it worth it to file a claim?
Even if your home insurance policy covers the mailbox, it is often not worth it to file a claim. A typical policy will have a deductible of somewhere between $500 and $1000, and if you want to file a claim, you will have to pay this deductible. Most mailboxes cost less than $500, so it usually makes more sense just to replace the mailbox. However, if it is a $2000 handcrafted brick design, it will probably be worth it to file a claim.
It is also essential to consider whether there was any damage to other property structures resulting from the same event. For instance, if the mailbox gets taken out in a hit-and-run incident where the driver ran into a storage shed as well, the damage to both structures can be filed under one property damage claim, making it worthwhile to pay the deductible for the mailbox. In this scenario, you may also have to consider bodily injury and medical bills.
Conversely, it’s not going to be worth it to file a claim if the mailbox was the only property damaged in the incident, and it is of standard design like the classic aluminum box attached to a pole. Instead, consider taking preventative measures like installing motion sensor lights to prevent it from happening again.
Keep in mind that filing claims can raise the policy’s cost in the long run, so it is important to carefully consider if it is worth it before seeking reimbursement for a mailbox through home insurance. If you think you have a chance of claiming for property damage, keep all receipts associated with repairs or replacements and make sure a replacement mailbox is similar to the original.
To make a long story short, it’s generally not worth it to file a home insurance claim on a mailbox, but there are exceptions, so it is always good to be informed.