Vandalism, theft, and acts of aggression toward automobiles are covered by comprehensive car insurance policies. You can protect yourself against vandalism.
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What is vandalism?
Vandalism is defined as “willful or malicious” destruction of property — automobiles in this case. Most cases of severe damage to cars result from willful intention, not accidental collision.
The main difference between vandalism and collision is that vandalism occurs intentionally and typically to parked cars.
Examples of vandalism include almost any activity that could deface or devalue an automobile, such as the following:
- Drawing graffiti on a vehicle
- Breaking windows
- Breaking into the car
- Damaging the body
- Stealing items inside the car
- Flattening tires
- Setting fire to the car
- Hot-wiring the car for theft
- Tampering with the car’s equipment
Why does vandalism occur? Most psychologists agree that vandalism occurs because of four primary reasons:
- People who are drunk and lose inhibitions
- People looking for money
- Peer pressure to commit random violence
- Hostility toward the car owner
While there are high statistics on teen vandalism, the truth is that automobile vandalism can occur at any time and in practically any neighborhood, regardless of the demographic.
Which car insurance policies can help you?
It’s little wonder then that car dealerships and banks insist upon you ordering full coverage insurance. Full coverage insurance is a combination of collision coverage and comprehensive coverage.
To the loaner who is carrying the note, vandalism car insurance offers protection against you defaulting on the note because of automobile damage.
Let’s face it: If your car is damaged beyond all recognition, you are probably far more tempted to just give it back to the dealer or loan company. This voluntary repossession counts as a loss to the lender.
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Vandalism car insurance is covered under comprehensive insurance and full coverage insurance. Comprehensive is an all-encompassing policy that even covers automobile damage resulting from animal attacks or inclement weather.
What factors increase the price of comprehensive insurance? The year and make of your car are very important, as they directly contribute to the price of repair. Newer model cars are more expensive to fix and thus are of greater risk to the insurance company.
However, do not conclude that only new model cars are targeted by thieves and vandals. Older model cars are perceived as less obvious targets and thus are often vandalized.
Some car insurance policies that cover vandalism offer greater-than-standard benefits. For example, some companies will actually pay for a courtesy car while your insured vehicle is repaired. If the car is severely damaged, then it can be “totaled” by the insurance company.
Usually, if the car is under a year old and the damage reaches over 60 percent of the total value, the insurance company will simply write it off and pay you the market value of the vandalized vehicle.
What is the process for filing a vandalized car insurance claim?
If your car is ever vandalized, your insurance contract will clearly state the proper course of action. The general rule is that you leave the car exactly the way it is until the appraiser or a police officer can assess the damages.
Never try to file a claim without first calling a police offer to the scene.
Calling can help establish the truth of the situation and also protect the community from further criminal activity. Do the following action steps:
- Try to take photographs of the damage and make a full claim to the company, specifying all details. (Bear in mind that if you have a high deductible — which lowers your insurance premiums — you may have to pay for the repairs out of your own pocket. Comprehensive coverage only goes into effect after you take care of the deductible amount.
- Contact the company at the toll-free number and follow the directions you are given.
The best thing you can do is try to find a contract that offers full coverage. Do not take anyone’s word. Compare the contract to what the insurance agent is saying. He or she will be glad to help you find affordable car insurance that covers comprehensive insurance, liability insurance, and collision.
Some drivers may actually prefer comprehensive insurance to full coverage, especially if they live in a dangerous part of the community. Who knows — you may be far likelier to incur the wrath of a local person than drive recklessly and ram into someone.
Your insurance policy will be based on several factors, some of which you can change. Remember that anti-theft devices, neighborhood location, and your occupation will determine the price of the policy.
You can ward off the threat of vandalism through car insurance by searching a comparison website.
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