Does Auto Insurance Cover Vandalism

Vehicle owners need to have physical damages coverage with Collision and Comprehensive on their car insurance policy to be protected against damages to their own automobiles. Collision coverage pays for traffic accident related losses. And most other damages to your automobile are covered by Comprehensive coverage that includes many perils like fire, theft, vandalism, falling objects and acts of nature. This coverage usually has a deductible that may need to be taken into account in the process of considering making a vehicle insurance claim or not.

Intentional act of damaging or defacing a vehicle belonging to someone else, such as scratching or keying the paint, breaking windows, damaging the interior, slashing tires, spraying paint or putting something in the gas tank is vandalism, which is considered a criminal act. Vandalism can lead to emotional stress and financial losses for the vehicle owner, as they may need to pay for repairs, replacements, or insurance deductibles to cover the damage. Comprehensive coverage would cover vandalism-related damages, helping the vehicle owner with repair or replacement costs after paying the deductible.

Virtually every automobile owner is required to buy at least liability and other state required minimum coverage before the car can be driven on public roads. Liability-only insurance policies do not cover the costs of repairing any physical damage to your own vehicle. Collision and Comprehensive coverage are optional but you need them if you want to be insured against damages to your vehicle.

Filing a vandalism claim can present challenges due to the nature of Comprehensive coverage, which involves a deductible of approximately $500. In many cases, drivers contemplate covering the repair costs themselves since they are often not significantly higher than the deductible. Additionally, they may opt for this approach to prevent the claim from impacting their future vehicle insurance premiums, especially if the potential payout is minimal.

Typically Comprehensive coverage claims are seen as losses out of your control and therefore many companies may not raise rates for one small claim. But they may start taking notice of the claims when there is another one in a short period. Nevertheless, making a vandalism claim could potentially lead to an increase in your automobile insurance premiums, depending on your insurer and state. Furthermore, if you have been benefiting from a claim-free discount on your policy, filing a vandalism claim could result in the loss of this discount, thereby raising your overall insurance costs.

Upon encountering vandalism damage to their vehicle, drivers should contact the police, and refrain from touching or disturbing any evidence until the police have assessed the situation. It’s also beneficial to take a few photographs of the damages as documentation. Additionally, inquire about potential witnesses or surveillance cameras in the vicinity that might have captured the incident.

However, often people drive around without realizing what happened and may discover the damage at a later time. They can still claim for it, if the repair cost is well over the deductible amount. In any scenario, it may be prudent to obtain repair estimates for minor or isolated damages and evaluate whether making a car insurance claim is the appropriate course of action.

Frequently, vehicles are targeted in attempts to steal valuable belongings left inside. Hence, it’s crucial to avoid leaving items such as cell phones in plain sight. Comprehensive auto insurance coverage typically covers damages to the vehicle itself, but it does not extend to personal items within the vehicle, as they are not considered part of it. In such situations, motorists may need to consult their home contents insurance to ascertain if they can make claims for these personal belongings.