Keyed Car and Vandalism Insurance Claims
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 a terribly unfortunate consequence of your personal life impacting your financial life. Common acts of vandalism include keyed cars, broken windows, and smashed headlights. If your car has been vandalized, you are probably upset, and you may be wondering if your insurance policy will cover the damage.
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 if 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 are not able to 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 claim process and start with these simple steps. It never hurts to ask your insurance claims adjuster how to speed up the process. Nobody wants 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 this mess behind you.
Steps to Filing a Claim for a Keyed Car or other Vandalism Damage
1. Get a Police Report
Most insurance companies require police reports 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 properly documented by police officials. If the culprit is caught, the insurance company, or you if you do not have coverage under your insurance policy, could go after the individual to cover the damages. It is always nice when your insurance company can take care of it for you.
2. 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 an answer to one of these questions, make sure you figure it out before you file the claim.
3. 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.
4. Determine If 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.
5. Take Your Vehicle in for Repair
The repair of your vehicle should go smoothly. Look for a repair shop who will guarantee their work. Find out if your insurance carrier offers guaranteed work through specific preferred body shops.
6. 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 at the time you added the vehicle. Definitely, 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 what your insurance carrier offers and your selection, however, it is not common.
Do not procrastinate when it comes to obtaining a police report and filing your vandalism claim. Many times vandals get away with the crime, but it is possible someone saw something or a camera caught the act on tape. It is nice when you understand your insurance policy and know 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 defense. Please look into ways to help prevent keyed cars and vandalism for reducing your chances of this happening again.