If some jerk comes by and vandalizes your car, not only is it not your lucky day, you could also be facing a lot of unexpected expenses. What’s worse – unless you have the right type of insurance coverage, your insurer might not even cover the damages! This it’s important to have comprehensive coverage, especially if you park your car in an area prone to vandalism.
What Is Comprehensive Coverage?
Comprehensive coverage can cover all damages not related to accidents or collisions. It is different from property damage liability insurance (PDL), which pays for damage to the other party (that you are at fault) for in an accident. It is also different from collision coverage, which covers damage to your own vehicle in an accident.
If you are wondering what type of damage can be caused to a car outside of an accident, consider:
- Weather and natural disasters (such as flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc.)
- Damage caused by animals (animal collisions, etc.)
As you can see, having comprehensive coverage will cover your vehicle against vandalism damages. So if you fear finding your car windows broken and your stereo missing, or if you expect your car to one day be the target of graffiti artists, adding comprehensive coverage to your insurance policy is a smart move!
Common Types Of Vandalism Against Vehicles
Anything that humans can do to damage a vehicle has been done. Nothing is out of bounds when it comes to vandals. However, here are some of the more common forms of vandalism:
- Slashing tires
- “Keying” a vehicle
- Throwing rotten eggs, rotten meat/fish, or other things that leave an odor
- Denting the vehicle with hammers, baseball bats, fists, or other blunt objects
- Smashing or breaking windows
- Pouring objects down the gas tank (such as sand, sugar)
Often times, vandalism is committed by acquaintances of the victim. Disgruntled employees, angry ex’es, dissatisfied customers, jealous friends, and even political adversaries have been known to commit vandalism to cars.
How To File A Claim For Vandalism If You Are A Victim
As is the case with collisions and other accidents, you should take photographs of the accident and immediately notify the police. Following these five steps will help you avoid making mistakes with your claim so that you can get your vehicle repaired ASAP:
- File A Police Report – Many insurance companies require police reports before paying on a claim. After being vandalized, it’s very important to contact the police, especially if you plan on filing a lawsuit later on.
- Ask Around For Witnesses – Smart vandals strike when nobody is watching, but sometimes they are caught in the act. Ask around to see if anyone saw your car being vandalized and check to see if any security cameras are installed near the crime scene. These could help immensely during the investigation.
- Contact Your Insurance Company – The agent you contact (most likely on the phone), will answer any questions you may have, tell you what to expect next, and get you in touch with a claims adjuster. Click here to learn more about how to file a claim.
- Speak To The Claims Adjuster – The claims adjuster will be sent to inspect your vehicle. He or she will evaluate the damages, take photographs, ask questions, talk to witnesses, and then report back to the insurance company.
- Repair The Damage – As long as your policy covers repairs, your insurance company will refer your vehicle to a car repair shop to repair whatever damages were incurred. You will be responsible for whatever your deductible amount is and your insurer will then pay for the rest. Your insurance company will either send you a bill for this cost, or you will pay when you pick your car up from the repair shop.
Making Sure You Are Covered For Vandalism
Vandalism against your car can create a major inconvenience, so it’s extremely important to always have enough insurance coverage. Remember that comprehensive car insurance covers against most forms of vandalism. If you are not sure if your car insurance policy protects against vandalism or if you would like to add comprehensive coverage to your existing policy, please contact your insurance provider. It’s better to be safe than sorry!