Although a comprehensive automobile insurance can cover the damages caused by the act of vandalism, you still need to report the incident and learn how to prevent it from happening again.
Filing A Claim For A Vandalized Car
Once your car is vandalized, you can file an insurance claim through your insurance company; however, since vandalism usually does not amount to huge financial damage, it is quite possible that your comprehensive deductible is much higher than the cost of damage itself. For instance, if your deductible amounts to a thousand dollars but the damage caused by the vandal only amounts to $700, it is advisable not to file a claim. Regardless, it is best to speak with your insurance company about your options.
If you want to file a car insurance claim, you need to properly handle the procedure. Here’s what you need to do:
- File A Police Report: First and foremost, you must file a police report. Aside from being a significant step in dealing with vandalism, it will also provide you with a paper trail which you can use for claiming insurance. Calling the authorities will document the damage. As a tip, leave your car exactly as you find it and don’t touch anything until a police officer comes. Don’t clean or disturb any probable evidence.
- Take A Few Snapshots: It is a good idea to take a couple of pictures of your car and the damage it sustained due to the vandalism incident. This will help document the damage.
- Contact Your Insurance Company: After notifying the authorities, you must contact your insurance company and file an insurance claim. The company may require the incident number and police report regarding the incident. Remember though that you can only file a claim if your policy carries comprehensive coverage. If not, then your insurer won’t cover the damages caused by vandalism.
How To Prevent Vandalism
It is smart to take necessary precautions to prevent such events from occurring. Here are a few tips to help you avoid random acts of vandalism.
- Park In Lighted Areas: Most vandals are not courageous enough to mess with a vehicle that is parked in a lighted area. They know that they can be easily seen and identified if they try to do something to your car. For an added protection, you can install a motion-sensitive light near your property to help ensure that no part of your car is left in the dark overnight.
- Avoid Leaving Your Vehicle In Remote Or Isolated Areas: It is also smart to find a parking space where there is a lot of activity. You must park your car in a well-populated place instead of a deserted and isolated area. Remember that individuals who commit vandalism acts do not like being seen.
- Park In Your Garage: If you have a garage at home, use it. Try to keep your car off the street overnight. Doing so will make your vehicle less vulnerable to vandalism acts.
- Invest In A Good Car Alarm: It is also advisable to invest in a good car alarm system. Most alarms have motion sensor features which can prevent potential vandals from targeting your car.
These tips will help protect your vehicle from being vandalized. But the best tip is to get the right automobile insurance that can protect you, your car, and your finances in case of trouble. Remember to get an insurance policy that includes comprehensive coverage which can cover damages to a car that are caused by other factors aside from collision.
Kris Hopkins is a car enthusiast who offers tips to better protect your vehicle. She also occasionally writes for Omaha car insurance companies.