UPDATED: Aug 7, 2020
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Whether you’ve recently found yourself in a “Before He Cheats” situation, or whether a random act results in damage to your car, automotive vandalism can be a serious headache. But if you have the right auto insurance coverage, you may be protected from paying for those expenses out-of-pocket.
You might be surprised to know that auto insurance vandalism coverage falls under comprehensive, a type of auto insurance coverage that isn’t required and that you may not have.
Below, we’ll explain how to handle a vandalism claim with your insurance company so that you can save as much money as possible on both your repairs and your monthly insurance rates. You can make sure you have car vandalism coverage with our FREE tool to compare comprehensive insurance rates.
What to Do If You Need to File a Claim
If you need to file a vandalism claim for damages to your vehicle, there are certain steps you need to take, and in a specific order, in order to make sure the claims process goes as smoothly as possible. Be sure to use the following checklist as a guide the moment you notice any damage:
- Call the police, and file a police report with the responding officer or with your local precinct
- Call your insurance company, let them know what happened, and let them know that you plan on filing a claim
- Be sure to speak to your claims adjuster as soon as possible once your claim has been assigned to someone
- If you can afford to, take your vehicle in for repairs as soon as possible; your insurance company will reimburse you later if your claim is honored. If you cannot afford to, be sure to talk with your insurance company about upfront costs and temporary transportation while your vehicle is getting repaired
It is painfully easy for your insurance company to deny your claim if any of the steps above are done out of order, or not at all. When it comes to filing a claim with your insurance company, it’s in your best interest to be proactive, to gather as much evidence as possible, and to stay on top of your insurance company. It may be tedious and time-consuming, but it can save you thousands of dollars in the long run. Enter your zip code below to view companies that have cheap auto insurance rates. Secured with SHA-256 Encryption
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How to Know If You Need to File a Claim
Although it’s tempting to let your insurance company take care of the repairs instead of paying for the cost yourself, it doesn’t always make financial sense to file a claim with your insurance agency. Usually, this is the case when the cost of repairs is either less than the cost of your deductible, or less than the cost of your deductible plus the extra money you will be paying in the foreseeable future for an increase in your monthly premiums.
In almost all cases, if you file a claim with your insurance company, they will start charging you higher rates the next time you renew your policy. Even if you switch companies the next time you renew, your history of filed claims will follow you, making you riskier to insure and thus making your policy more expensive, regardless of whether you switch companies or stay with the same insurance agent.
Before you file your claim, make sure to do a cost-benefit analysis of how much it will cost you to get your vehicle fixed now, versus how much you’ll be paying in the future for your higher premiums. If the immediate cost is cheaper then your future premium increases and manageable for you at the present time, then foregoing a claim is your best bet. Otherwise, go ahead and file – just understand the financial consequences of that choice before you start the claims process.