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UPDATED: May 15, 2017
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Out of all of your belongings, your vehicle is more vulnerable to vandals than any other asset.
Since most vehicles are parked in the open rather than being stored in a garage, it’s easy for individuals with a grudge to damage your car by scratching the paint, breaking your windows, and slashing your tires.
There are so many different ways that a vandal can wreak havoc on your car. When a vandal slashes your tires, that’s a sign that things have gotten personal.
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Not only is it expensive to replace a whole set of tires, when they are slashes, it leaves you stranded where you are no matter how much of a hurry you’re in. If you’ve discovered that your tires have been slashed, here’s how your insurance carrier will help:
Does basic insurance pay to replace your slashed tires?
Any vehicle owner that’s living off of a limited income needs to consider all of their options when they’re binding coverage. If the car isn’t leased or financed, one alternative is to buy a basic insurance plan.
While the term “basic” could mean several things, in the insurance world, the term refers to a policy that contains only the minimum coverage that’s required by law.
Since a basic insurance policy only includes bodily injury, property damage and other forms of required coverage, you won’t have any form of coverage for damage to your vehicle.
While it is still the other party’s fault to pay for damage when you’re in a crash that you’re not liable for, any other type of damage to your vehicle, including damage caused by a vandal, will not be covered.
Can you add coverage for your tires?
Your tires might not be covered under a basic insurance policy but there are coverage options that will protect your tires and the rest of your vehicle from sudden damage.
You have to add physical damage coverage, which is optional before your insurer is obligated to pay for any repairs. You can’t buy just tire coverage, but coverage that pays for the full car including the body and mechanical parts.
What type of coverage pays for tire slashing?
If you live in an area with high property crime rates, it might be best for you to carry comprehensive coverage on your vehicle.
Comprehensive is a physical damage coverage option that pays for repairs that are needed to your car if it’s damaged, not after a collision, but instead while it’s parked. Some of the perils that comprehensive pays for includes:
- Falling objects
- Damage caused by animals
Since tire slashing is an act of vandalism, it will be covered under comprehensive. You will have to file a claim through your insurer to collect.
If you’ve already paid for a new set of tires, you can be reimbursed for the amount of money that you’ve spent. If you want to wait for the insurer to cut a check, they may pay directly to the tire shop.
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Do you need a police report?
Some insurance adjusters that believe that a claim is fraudulent may ask for a police report when you’re filing a vandalism claim. It’s the adjuster’s job to look for signs of fraud and try to deter it.
Don’t be surprised if the agent asks for a police report because vandalism claims can easily be faked.
Do you have to pay for a portion of the cost?
When you file your claim, the company isn’t going to pay for the full cost of four tires. If only one tire is slashed, only one tire will be covered. There are limitations to what your carrier is going to pay.
The amount of the damage must exceed your deductible. Whatever deductible that you’re carrying will be deducted from the amount of your claim before it’s settled.
How much does it cost to replace your tires?
Tires aren’t cheap. How much you have to pay for your tires is dependent on the type of vehicle that you drive, where you’re buying your tires, and the area that you live in.
The insurer won’t pay for a special type of tire if you didn’t already have that quality tire on the car at the time that it was slashed.
It’s difficult to pinpoint exactly how much you’ll pay to get your car up and running after a tire slashing. Prices vary so much that you could pay between $100 and $300 for a single tire and between $400 and $1800 for a set of four tires.
Standard tires on cars are around $125 and around $200 for trucks and SUVs. The tire size and the type of rubber used will dictate cost.
Know if You’re At Risk
If you own your car outright, it’s nice not to have to pay for full coverage insurance. It can save you hundreds of dollars every year on your premiums when you chose not to carry physical damage coverage but there’s a risk associated with the savings.
Someone can slash your tires at any time, but there are seasons and areas where this type of vandalism is more common.
According to the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, around 692 vandalism claims are filed each day that cost insurers an average of $1,528.
Summer is the most popular month for vandals followed by holidays and weekends. Claims numbers are consistently highest in July and second highest in June.
Not only do you have to consider the time of the year, you also have to consider the crime rates where you live. Property crime data is compiled and areas are ranked by sites like NeighborhoodScout.com.
Enter your zip code in the tool and you can see how likely you are to be a victim of motor vehicle vandalism crimes.
It’s definitely worth it to buy comprehensive coverage if you live in an area with a high rate of property crime. Since premiums for comprehensive are affordable, it’s a wise investment.
Use our online rate quote tool to price the cost of comprehensive and see which carriers are most competitive.