Grave markers vary in price depending on the type, size, and material they are made out of. They can run in price from a couple hundred dollars to well over $10,000. No matter what you pay for it, once you purchase one, you do not want to have to be responsible for the cost of repairing or replacing it. But what happens when you come to visit the grave months or even years later and notice that this marker has been damaged? Before you spend any of your own money, here are four sources of money you may want to consider first.
One of the first things that you will want to try to figure out is how the marker was damaged. The cause of the damage will often determine who will be responsible for paying for the damages.
- For example: If the damage was caused by vandalism, you may or may not be able to hold the cemetery responsible, but if the damage was caused by the cemetery's lawn care equipment, it could be another story.
If you suspect the damage was caused by the cemetery, contact the person or company that is in charge of the location. If there is no office on site, research to find out who you would contact to purchase a grave in this location. In the case of a public cemetery, this may even be a city or county office where the grave site is located. There is usually some type of contact information located at the cemetery, but if not, call a local funeral home and they will be able to tell you.
Have the person who is responsible for the cemetery meet you so that they can see and document the damage. Take pictures or record video for your own personal records. Ask them about them making the repairs or filing for the costs of repairs with their insurance company. Depending on their response, you may not have to go any further.
The Manufacturer Of Your Stone
Grave markers made out of stone are designed to last for a really long time. Unfortunately, because stone is a naturally made material, it can have defects within the stone that will cause it to break or crumble.
If you feel the damage to your stone was caused by a natural defect in the stone itself, you may need to contact the company you purchased your stone from. If the manufacturer agrees with you that the defect in the material caused your stone to break, they may repair or replace your stone at no charge.
Your Homeowners Insurance
Many people do not realize that many of today's homeowner insurance policies have provisions in place that will cover up to $1,000 for any damage or vandalism to a grave marker. This coverage under your homeowner's policy may be limited to immediate family members or those who have lived in your household.
Check with your insurance agent to see if your homeowner's policy includes this coverage, and if so, what are the stipulations of the coverage? If you are covered, your insurance agent can help you file a claim against your policy.
Did you know the federal government may be a source of money to repair your grave marker? This is true if your grave marker was damaged by a storm that was declared to be a federal disaster. You may qualify for funds to have your marker replaced, or repaired, by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, better known as FEMA. Visit their website, or contact your local FEMA office to ask how to go about filing a claim.
Hopefully, one of these resources will provide you with the necessary repairs of the damages that have occurred to your grave marker. Once repaired or replaced, it will be able to continue to mark the resting place of your loved one for many years to come. Contact a company like Elmwood Cemetery Memorials for more information.