Vandalism can be one of the most maddening car insurance claims. If you park in a rough area, you know that vandalism can be a risk and that, usually, it’s not about you. But someone intentionally damaging your property feels personal, even if you were a random victim.
If you’ve recently been through a nasty breakup or have a vengeful enemy, vandalism can sometimes be an unfortunate consequence of your personal life that impacts your financial one. Common acts of vandalism include keyed cars, broken windows and smashed headlights. If your vehicle has been vandalized, you may be wondering whether your insurance policy will cover the damage.
- To ensure car vandalism is covered, you must have comprehensive coverage on your policy.
- There are six essential steps for making sure your insurance company pays for auto vandalism.
- Make sure you keep enough cash saved up to pay insurance deductibles.
What Insurance Coverage Fixes a Keyed Car?
A keyed car is considered a vandalized car and vandalism is covered under the comprehensive coverage portion of your auto insurance policy. Determining whether or not you purchased the coverage is fairly simple: Check your declaration page to see whether a dollar amount is listed under comprehensive or other than collision coverage.
One amount should be your deductible and the other amount should be how much you are paying for the coverage. If you cannot locate your declaration page, contact your insurance agent or check your insurance policy coverage online. If you still can't figure out your coverage, call your insurance carrier's customer service number to get help.
Filing a vandalism claim is not all that difficult; it is more about your time and the inconvenience involved. Save time by understanding the claims process, and start with these simple steps. It never hurts to ask your insurance claims adjuster how to speed up the process.
Most people don't like to deal with an insurance claim, especially one caused by a vandal. The best advice is to get the claim taken care of as quickly as possible so you can repair your vehicle, move on with your life, and put the mess behind you.
Steps to Filing a Claim For Vandalism Damage
Get a Police Report
Most insurance companies require or strongly suggest filing a police report when it comes to vandalism claims. Once you see your car has been vandalized, take photos of the damage and call 911. Intentional damage to your vehicle by another individual is serious and needs to be correctly documented by the police.
You should always call the police if you experience car vandalism. A report is necessary for a claim, and there might be more going on than the incident with your car.
If the culprit is caught, the insurance company could go after the individual to cover the damages. If you catch them, you might be able to file charges against them with the police.
Call Your Insurance Agent or Insurance Claims Number
The claim needs to be called in directly to your insurance carrier. Many times, your agent will help you with this process. Whether you talk to your agent or the claims representative, the questions will often be the same:
- What was the date and time of the incident?
- Where is the damage located on your car?
- Where was your car parked?
- Do you know who caused the damage?
- What is the police report number?
- Does the damage cost more than your deductible?
- Where do you want to get your car repaired?
- What is a good phone number to reach you?
It is important to answer the questions as completely and as accurately as possible. If you don’t know the answer to one of these questions, make sure you figure it out before filing the claim.
Speak With the Claims Adjuster
Vandalism is a type of claim that almost always requires an adjuster to look at the damage. Unfortunately, both vandalism and theft claims are commonly filed fraudulently. Insurance adjusters always carefully document vandalism claims, looking for warning signs of potential fraud.
Determine Whether You Have Car Rental Coverage
Car rental can be paid out when your vehicle is in the shop for repairs, but only if you have coverage on your policy. Some policies give you automatic coverage without purchasing it. It is usually a low dollar amount, but every bit helps.
An example of automatic coverage limits is $15 a day for up to $30. If you purchased coverage, you could determine your limits by looking at your declaration page or calling your insurance agent.
Take Your Vehicle in for Repair
The repair of your vehicle should go smoothly. Look for a repair shop that will guarantee their work. Find out if your insurance carrier offers guaranteed work through specific, preferred body shops.
Pay Your Deductible
Typically, you will pay your deductible to the body shop at the time of your repair. How much your deductible is depends on how you set up your insurance policy when you added the vehicle. Check into how much your deductible is before you get your repair done. You do not want to be shocked when you go to pick up your vehicle.
It is possible to have a zero deductible depending on your insurance carrier and policy. However, it is not common.
Try not to procrastinate when obtaining a police report and filing your vandalism claim. Many times, vandals get away with the crime, but it is possible that someone saw something, or a camera caught the act on tape. It is nice to understand your insurance policy and know that you are covered against such violations as a keyed car. If you have any questions about your policy, the best bet is to contact your car insurance agent.
Car insurance is helpful after damage occurs to your vehicle, but planning and making smart choices can be your best defenses. Please look into ways to help prevent keyed cars and vandalism for reducing your chances of this happening again.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
How can you protect your car from vandalism?
The best way to prevent car vandalism is to park it off the street in a locked garage. That's not always realistic, so when you have to park it in public, seek out a well-lit parking spot that's not easily noticeable or accessible to people passing by the area.
What is the benefit of filing a police report for car vandalism?
You won't necessarily need to file a police report in every case of car vandalism, but many insurance providers will request that you do. Comprehensive insurance should cover the cost of repairs, but if police can catch the vandal, the insurance company may try to recoup those costs from that person.