Does car insurance cover vandalism? Insurance Breakdown

does insurance cover vandalism on car

Vandalism involves the deliberate act of causing damage or defacement to your vehicle, and it can occur whether your car is in motion, parked at home, or situated in a public parking area.

Common manifestations of auto vandalism encompass:

  1. Slashing or causing damage to tires
  2. Breaking windows, headlights, or taillights
  3. Inflicting spray paint damage
  4. Creating dents or scratches through keying the car
  5. Introducing sugar or other substances into the gas tank

Experiencing vandalism can be both financially burdensome and emotionally distressing.

Repairing damages such as broken windows, spray-painted hoods, keyed doors, or slashed tires can lead to rapidly accumulating expenses.

Fortunately, if your auto insurance policy incorporates comprehensive coverage, your insurer may assist in covering the costs of necessary repairs.

Nevertheless, determining whether filing a vandalism claim is always the optimal choice requires understanding how car insurance coverage for vandalism operates and considering relevant factors before initiating a claim.

What is auto vandalism?

Auto vandalism refers to the deliberate destruction or harm inflicted upon a vehicle.

Various forms of vandalism exist, and having appropriate coverage in your insurance policy can potentially assist in covering the repair costs.

Does insurance cover vandalism on car
Does insurance cover vandalism on car

Below are several common types of vandalism that one may encounter:

  1. Body damage/defacement: Damage to the car’s exterior, such as spray painting or using sharp objects to scratch off paint, may necessitate more than minor repairs, often requiring a new paint job or the replacement of panels.
  2. For broken windows and lights, replacing broken windshields, other car windows, and damaged headlights or side mirrors typically requires installing new parts.
  3. If someone slashes or steals the tires, making the car undriveable, you may need a tow truck to transport it to the repair facility. It’s advisable to review your policy to comprehend the coverage extent provided by your insurance.

Initiating the claims process promptly is crucial if your vehicle has been vandalized and you seek insurance coverage for the repairs.

However, for insurance to contribute to the damage expenses, it is essential to have the appropriate coverage outlined in your policy.

Does car insurance cover vandalism?

Coverage for damage resulting from vandalism is provided by your auto insurance, but only if your policy incorporates comprehensive coverage.

Typically found in full coverage auto insurance policies, comprehensive coverage, along with collision coverage, offers a comprehensive safeguard.

Although full coverage is not usually mandated by state laws, you should confirm if your policy includes comprehensive coverage. This is especially important unless you have actively chosen it or if your vehicle is financed, as your lender or lessor requires it.

It’s worth noting that comprehensive insurance does not extend to covering personal items within the car in the event of theft during a vandalism incident.

Coverage for your belongings falls under your renters or homeowners insurance.

If someone steals personal property from your vehicle, it’s advisable to engage in a conversation with your insurance company to explore available options

Do I have to pay a deductible if my car is vandalized?

Should your car insurance policy encompass comprehensive coverage, it will account for vandalism-induced damage, with the deductible from your car insurance subtracted.

The comprehensive deductible varies based on your state regulations and insurance provider, spanning from zero to $2,500.

Typically, policyholders opt for deductibles ranging between $250 and $500.

If uncertainty looms regarding the inclusion of comprehensive coverage in your policy, reviewing the policy specifics outlined in your declarations page, typically located at the onset of your insurance policy packet, is advisable.

Alternatively, reaching out to your agent or insurance company for clarification on the coverage details is recommended.

How to file a vandalism claim

Initiate insurance claims for vandalism promptly upon detecting the damage, as it is crucial.

Before filing a claim with your insurer, you may need to file a police report.

It’s essential to understand the key steps in the car vandalism claims process for a smooth experience.

Contact the Police:

Ensure your safety first, and then contact your local police department to report the vandalism as it is a criminal act.

A police report may be necessary for an insurance claim, so it’s beneficial to file one.

While waiting for the police or after their visit. Document details of the vandalism and take photos using your phone, which can assist in the claim process.

File a Police Report:

If the police inspect your vehicle, cooperate fully. If they are unable to visit the scene, file the report over the phone.

Provide comprehensive details and ask your insurance claim representative if they require a copy of the report.

Contact Your Auto Insurer:

Promptly contact your auto insurer to initiate the claims process.

You can typically do this over the phone, online, or through mobile apps offered by many insurers.

Prepare to provide information such as the date and time of the incident, location of damage, parking spot details, and the police report number.

Meet with the Claims Adjuster:

Vandalism claims often involve an inspection by a claims adjuster.

Schedule a time for them to assess the vehicle. During which they will document the damage and guide you through the subsequent steps in the claim process.

Have the Car Repaired:

Once your auto insurer approves the claim, take your vehicle to the repair shop. While insurers may suggest preferred repair facilities, you generally have the flexibility to choose a different one.

Keep in mind that opting for a non-recommended shop might extend the process or result in repair costs exceeding the insurer’s agreed-upon amount.

How to protect your car from vandalism

Although car vandalism is typically unpredictable, there are precautions you can implement to mitigate the risk.

Enhance the security of your vehicle by clearing it of any valuables and choosing well-lit parking spaces.

If available, utilizing a covered garage can further diminish the chances of your car being subjected to vandalism.

Discover additional strategies on safeguarding your vehicle from acts of vandalism.

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