What to do if your home is struck by bullets

gun, crime tape

MADISON, Wis. — Tuesday’s shooting that killed an 11-year-old girl also left bullet holes in an uninvolved home.

American Family Insurance Agent Josh Erickson said this could happen to any homeowner and if it does, the homeowner should review their home insurance policy and make sure that the damage is covered.

“As a homeowner or a landlord if you’re impacted by an event like this I would definitely reach to your insurance agent, document as much as possible. You always want to document, you want to engage law enforcement so they can document it and then touch base with your insurance company once you have that situation documented,” Erickson said.

Erickson emphasized that insurance is meant to cover larger scale events. If your home is struck by multiple bullets, most insurance policies will cover it, but if your home is struck by one bullet, it may not be covered.

“So if you have multiple bullet holes and a lot of siding damage, it probably makes sense to file a claim,” Erickson said. “So if you have a smaller event, you definitely want to get an estimate from somebody first to understand if it makes sense to use your insurance or just fill that bullet hole with something or that act of vandalism if you want to just take care of it on your own and not use your insurance. The costs are going to depend upon the home, the type of siding and there’s a lot of variables there. Single bullet holes probably wouldn’t meet your deductible in a lot of cases but it really depends on your house. If you have some high-end finishes on your house that were impacted, certainly that could meet your deductible.”

Erickson said homeowners should review their current policy and make sure that replacement costs are listed in the language.

“Most homeowners policies are based upon replacing what was lost. So we would replace windows in the example that your windows were shot out with new windows in that case depending on your policy language,” he said.