Cars can get damaged in a wreck, of from a hazard like a falling tree, hail or fire. But sometimes, other people are the causes of damage to your car, and we aren’t talking about other drivers, but vandalism.
Cars are vandalized all the time, even in places that you consider safe, like your own driveway. Some people vandalize cars out of spite, and we’ve all probably seen YouTube® videos of a disgruntled ex who bashes someone’s windshield with a baseball bat. However, vandalism also includes partial theft, when someone steals vehicle parts for personal gain.
Of course, vehicle vandalism of any kind is inconvenient, expensive and genuinely upsetting. At times, vandalism could be so extreme that it could total your vehicle, leaving you without available transportation and the lost value of the car.
The good news, however, is that car insurance can cover vehicles if they are affected by vandalism. Because acts of vandalism are unpreventable in most cases, then insurers are willing to provide the coverage necessary to protect the vehicle. Still, all auto insurance policies will impose limits on how much assistance the policy will provide. Therefore, it’s up to you to work with your agent to determine how best to structure your coverage to your advantage.
Here, we’ll take a closer look at how different auto policies address vandalism, and how you can customize your policy to your advantage so that you don’t ever find yourself in an unaffordable loss scenario.
Understanding Vehicle Vandalism
Auto vandalism comes in many shapes and sizes.
- Someone might break your window so that they can steal from within your car. For example, a common thief’s trick is to break a window, open the hood of the vehicle, and steal the battery.
- A thief might break into an unlocked car to steal items inside, including stereo equipment, money or other items.
- Your tires or rims might be stolen.
- Someone who has a grudge against you, or even someone you don’t even know, might vandalize the car out of pure spite.
Vandalism might mean broken glass, stolen parts, extensive body damage and damaged paint. All in all, any of these actions could be infuriating, annoying and costly in the end. If a vandal does enough damage, then they could even total your car. Plus, even if you had your security system armed and the vehicle locked, that won’t stop someone who is determined to get in. As a result, you need to be ready for anything, even if the likelihood of vandalism occurring is relatively low.
Car Insurance for Vandalism
Vandalism is an unexpected, unavoidable vehicle hazard, and as a result, most car insurers cover it. However, to receive coverage for such damage, you will have to request to add it to your policy.
Most states require drivers to carry auto liability insurance, which is coverage that pays for the damage or injuries you cause to others when a wreck is your fault. This coverage does not pay for your own vehicle damage. Still, optional vehicle damage coverage is available to most drivers, and you should consider adding it to your policy.
There are two types of physical damage insurance available. The first, collision coverage, pays for damage your car sustains in a wreck. The second, called comprehensive coverage, pays for vehicle damage from hazards other than collisions, and it is under comprehensive coverage that you will find vandalism protection. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage, then vandalism will not be covered.
Customizing Your Policy to Your Advantage
You will want to use your comprehensive coverage to your advantage if you ever have a claim for vehicle vandalism. That’s why it’s important to pay close attention to the terms of your policy, to ensure that they offer you appropriate benefits.
- A deductible will apply to physical damage claims. So, if you have a $500 damage deductible, and someone causes $2,000 worth of vandalism damage to your car, then your insurer will pay $1,500. You are responsible for the remaining $500. Claims for less than the deductible value will not have coverage.
- If vandalism totals your car, then your insurer will provide you a settlement. Most will pay based on your vehicle’s actual cash value, which is its used value at the time of the wreck, not the value of a new car. A deductible will usually apply to this settlement.
- Drivers who want more coverage for vandalism damage can ask if they can increase their cash value policy to a replacement cost value policy. A replacement cost plan will pay you an amount close to that of a new car.
- To insure custom parts (rims, chrome, stereo equipment) you will need to inquire about custom parts coverage, which is separate from comprehensive coverage.
- Some policies cover glass damage and body damage separately. Glass coverage might have a separate deductible and other terminology. However, these benefits are usually designed to ensure that you receive as much coverage as possible given the unique value associated with small acts of vandalism.
If you are curious about how you can optimize your physical damage insurance to your vehicle’s advantage, then just give us a call. We’re committed to helping every client get the perfect coverage without causing them to have to pay astronomical prices.
Also Read: Car Insurance & Theft: How to Cover it & How to Avoid It
Get A Quote