If your repairs are less than your deductible, is filing a claim worth it?
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If your car is vandalized, you may be wondering if car insurance covers the damage to your vehicle, or if filing a claim with your insurance company is even worth it. We’ll help you make that decision and educate you on auto vandalism and insurance in general.
Before we discuss vandalism coverage, let’s define what auto vandalism is in the first place.
Auto vandalism is whenever anyone intentionally damages or defaces your car. It does not include damage from weather, potholes, or auto burglary.
Here are some different types of auto vandalism:
Vandalism coverage is not usually available on its own but included under the umbrella of comprehensive coverage. While property damage liability, required by every state except New Hampshire, covers damages that you or another driver made to your car or another piece of property, it doesn’t cover vandalism, as the vandal isn’t another driver but a pedestrian. In sum, auto insurance covers vandalism only if you have comprehensive coverage.
Aside from vandalism, comprehensive coverage includes damages from weather conditions like hail, fires, floods, and falling rocks.
No states require comprehensive auto insurance coverage, but many people choose to get it if they have newer cars. However, if you have an older car, it’s probably not necessary. Of course, the amount of car insurance you need beyond your state’s minimum coverage is your decision.
If your vehicle is vandalized, follow these steps:
When your car gets vandalized, you might consider filing a claim with your insurance provider, or paying for repairs out of pocket. Which option is best to minimize the cost of your auto insurance?
Unfortunately, vandalism could negatively impact the cost of car insurance, raising your premiums even if it wasn’t your fault.
If your vandalism repair costs are lower than your comprehensive deductible, it makes sense to avoid filing a claim and simply pay out of pocket.
Deductibles for comprehensive coverage can range from $0 all the way up to $2,000.
We have a few recommendations to help you avoid auto vandalism in the first place:
While the FBI tracks motor vehicle theft, a cousin to auto vandalism, it doesn’t track vandalism rates. As a result, there’s no reliable and recent national data on auto vandalism, but we found a few interesting statistics from years past:
Depending on the size of your deductibles and premium, comprehensive coverage, which covers vandalism, may or may not be worth your while. However, we recommend a comprehensive coverage policy if you have a new or relatively new car. The truth is that damage doesn’t just come from other drivers, but from everything around you, from weather conditions to pedestrians.
To learn about other types of coverage, read our guides to rental cars coverage, collision coverage, and gap coverage. You may have also heard about full coverage. While this isn’t a legitimate term that auto insurance underwriters use in policies, it generally means coverages like medical payments coverage or personal injury protection, uninsured motorist coverage, comprehensive coverage, and collision coverage in addition to the required liability coverage. Compare full coverage vs. liability head-to-head.
Our readers have flooded us with questions about auto vandalism, a topic that doesn’t get discussed enough. We’ve answered your most common questions below.
The type of auto insurance that covers vandalism is comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage includes damages from things other than drivers, such as hail, potholes, and vandalism.
Vandalism is only covered if you have comprehensive coverage. Property damage only covers damages from other drivers, not vandalism.
ake these steps if your car is vandalized:
Most likely, yes, your car insurance will go up after a vandalism claim. That’s why it’s not worth it to file a claim if the repair costs are less than your comprehensive deductible.
Does car insurance cover vandalism? Progressive. (2021).
VEHICLE SECURITY AND RELATED TIPS. sandiego.gov. (2017, Sept 29).
Crime Prevention Tips. mishawaka.in.gov.
Vandalism. Highway Loss Data Institute. (2013, Sept).