a big long scratch down the side of your car, or even worse all of your tires
slashed is never a happy moment. Vandalism is almost always senseless and usually
pretty expensive. A paint job, a new window or four new tires can be very
pricey, as well as frustrating. Luckily, in most cases vandalism is covered by
your insurance, as long as you have the right type. Here are a few things you
may want to know about vandalism and car insurance.
is usually limited only by the imagination of the person committing it. While
keying a car is pretty common, pouring sugar in a gas tank is much more serious
and can essentially destroy a car. The same goes for pouring acid or other
caustic materials on the exterior of a vehicle. What is considered vandalism
will vary by insurance companies but there are a few genuine guidelines that
most stick to when it comes to declaring that an act is not vandalism:
- Hit and run accidents are considered collisions and not an
act of vandalism.
- When something is taken from a car it will be considered
theft, not vandalism.
- If the car is caught up in an act of crime, for example
being hit by stray bullets it would not be considered vandalism.
the end the insurance adjuster will decide if your case is vandalism or falls
under another category.
you are carrying a bare bones liability policy, vandalism is not covered and
you will be on your own to cover the expenses. Comprehensive is the coverage
under which vandalism falls. Comprehensive insures against all types of
non-accident damage including weather, theft, animals and vandalism.
is a separate policy type and is not included with basic car insurance. Some
insurance companies will call liability and collision full coverage, which
leaves you without comprehensive so those four new tires, will be on your tab. If
you are driving a brand new car or one that is financed your lender will
require you to carry comprehensive on the vehicle.
if you have comprehensive coverage you will still be responsible for the deductible,
which can run to $1000 depending on your policy.
it can be hard to catch the perpetrator of vandalism, owners sometimes vandalize
their cars to cash in on their policy. This is illegal and will end in a denied
claim, policy cancellation and criminal prosecution if the damage is
significant and the insurance company decides to go after you.
tend to investigate vandalism claims thoroughly and do not take fraud lightly.
If you have filed more than one vandalism claim in the last few years you can
expect any vandalism claims to be heavily questioned and investigated.
your car was vandalized by an angry family member or ex-spouse, you claim will
be denied as most policies do not offer coverage for deliberate damage done by
someone you know, check your policy for exclusion details.
is best to call the police and file a police report as soon as you discover the
damage to your vehicle. While it is unlikely that the police will actually
catch the vandal, many insurers require a police report with your claim. In most cases you can file a report over the
phone but it is possible an officer will be dispatched to examine the car.
your agent or insurance company to file the claim is pretty straightforward. In
most cases they will send out an adjuster to examine the damage and determine
if further investigation is warranted. Under no circumstances should you fix
your vehicle before your insurer has approved your claim, doing so would void
is a headache and can be quite expensive. If you have the right insurance policy
you should be covered in most cases.