Having a car comes with inherent risks. After all, accidents happen. But of all the ways your car could suffer physical harm, don’t forget vandalism—intentional damage done to your car by a person or group.

If your car was keyed or spray-painted, would your insurance cover it?

Most states require that you take out auto insurance to secure your registration and get a license plate. If you only have minimum insurance, chances are that your auto insurance policy does not cover vandalism. However, it’s within your power to take out comprehensive coverage that can cover vandalism and other kinds of damage.

In this short guide, we’ll cover the basics of car insurance for vandalism and the best way to protect your vehicle from the unexpected.

Car Vandalism and the Limits of Basic Coverage

Car vandalism describes a wide range of purposeful damage to your car. Types of vandalism can include:

  • Egging the car’s exterior

  • Slashing tires

  • Kicking in headlights

  • Shattering the windshield

  • Lighting the car on fire

Damage from vandalism can range from easily reversed cosmetic issues to irreversible damage.

Vandalism can be motivated by a personal grudge or vendetta (i.e., an angry ex-spouse or unhappy customer). It can happen on Halloween or the preceding evening’s “Mischief Night” if it’s celebrated in your area. It can also happen for no reason at all.

So, does car insurance cover vandalism? The short answer is it depends. While vandalism is a real risk, most states’ basic insurance coverage does not include protection against vandalism.

Standard minimum car insurance is designed to make sure that all people are adequately covered for physical injury due to an accident. While requirements vary by state, they often include:

  • Bodily injury liability coverage – Bodily injury coverage pays for the medical costs of the other parties that you injured in an accident.

  • Personal injury protection – Also called PIP, this kind of coverage pays for your medical bills incurred after a car accident when you’re at fault or when the accident is with an uninsured motorist.

  • Uninsured and underinsured motorist coverage – This coverage pays for your medical costs and any repairs to your car when the accident is with a driver who is uninsured or underinsured.

  • Property damage liability – If you’re at fault in an accident, property damage coverage can also cover the other driver’s vehicle repair or replacement.

As you read through this list, you’ll likely notice some glaring omissions. If you’re at fault in an accident, there is no coverage for damage to your vehicle. Likewise, if your vehicle is subject to harm from a source other than an accident with another driver—be it vandalism damage, hail, or an unfortunate encounter with a mailbox—there’s no protection at all. Learn more on does car insurance cover hail damage.

So, how can you prepare for vandalism? Let us explain.

How To Protect Your Car With Comprehensive Insurance Coverage

If you want to protect your car from occurrences that are out of your control, you will need comprehensive insurance coverage.

Comprehensive car insurance covers:

  • Car theft

  • Animal collision (hitting a deer, etc.)

  • Damage related to the weather (wind, tornado, hail)

  • Falling objects (tree branches, etc.)

  • Car vandalism

Adding comprehensive to your auto insurance policy comes at an additional cost, which will vary based on factors like your state, age, driving record, and accident history. Your car’s make and model also play a role.

Should your car get vandalized or be otherwise damaged due to natural disasters or theft, comprehensive coverage can cover your costs. But in the best-case scenario, your car remains undamaged, and you simply pay a little extra each month for peace of mind.

What Doesn’t Comprehensive Car Insurance Cover?

While comprehensive coverage can help out in a wide range of circumstances, it’s not a catch-all for potential auto issues.

Comprehensive insurance doesn’t cover:

  • Vehicle damage from a collision – You may also want to consider collision coverage, which pays for repairs or vehicle replacement when your car is in an accident with another vehicle or when your car hits an immobile object like a tree or a telephone pole.

  • Stolen property inside your car – If personal property is stolen from inside of your car, it isn’t covered either. Your homeowners’ insurance or renters’ insurance policy usually covers property stolen from your home and inside your car.

Concerned About Vandalism? Visit Online Auto Insurance.

To minimize the chances of vandalism, it’s advised that you pick a parking spot in an area of a parking lot or garage that is well-lit and close to stores. If you must park your car in a large parking lot, make sure it has video surveillance equipment monitoring the area.

But the reality is that vandalism can happen to anyone.

That’s why comprehensive coverage is such an important part of your auto insurance.

If you want to add coverage while maintaining an affordable rate, visit Online Auto Insurance. Use our quick ZIP code search tool to shop for affordable coverage that’s right for you.

Sources:

Car and Driver. What Are The Different Types of Car Insurance? https://www.caranddriver.com/car-insurance/a36367346/types-of-car-insurance/

National Safety Council. Parking Lot Injuries Often Result of Distraction. https://www.nsc.org/road-safety/safety-topics/distracted-driving/parking-lot-safety

Car and Driver. Does Car Insurance Cover Theft of Personal Items? Everything You Need to Know. \ https://www.caranddriver.com/car-insurance/a36212493/does-car-insurance-cover-theft-of-personal-items/