Travel Safety: Car Vandalism

Finding your car vandalized can be worrying and nerve-wracking.  Your car may have been broken into, and items may have been stolen, or someone may have drawn, or keyed something into the paint.  What you may not know is that this damage can potentially be covered by your insurance, and that there are steps you should take after finding your car vandalized.Car window smashed in by vandals

Comprehensive Auto Insurance Coverage

You should make sure you have the correct type of insurance in order to cover vandalism.  This type of coverage is called comprehensive coverage.  Comprehensive coverage covers non-accident related damage that collision and liability coverage do not, including:

  • Vandalism.
  • Weather damage
  • Theft
  • Animal collisions
  • Fire


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If your vehicle is vandalised:

If your car is vandalised, there are a few steps you should take immediately to ensure that you can take advantage of a comprehensive insurance claim:

Take pictures

First, you should immediately take pictures of the damage.  Having documented evidence is always a smart move when dealing with either an investigation, or an insurance claim.

Contact the Police and your insurance company

Next, you should notify the police within 24 hours of discovering the vandalism and file a report.  Similar to what to do in the event of a fender bender, notifying the police introduces a neutral party to the claim, and can speed up the process.  Then, you should contact your insurance company and file a claim as soon as possible.

Do not clean up  

After taking pictures, it’s important to know you shouldn’t try to clean anything up.  While it may be nerve racking or embarrassing to have vandalism on your car, you should wait until the police and the insurance claims adjuster can look at the damage, and everything is documented until trying to repair, or clean up.

After the documentation is complete, you can then take steps to make sure the damage doesn't progress.  This can mean covering up part of your car if someone used spray paint, or covering a broken window until you can have it repaired or replaced.

Preventing Vandalism to Your Car

These are all great ways to handle vehicle vandalism after the fact, but there are additional steps you can take to prevent vandalism in the future.  These include:

  • Parking your vehicle in well-lit areas,
  • Making sure your car alarm is always turned on
  • Making use of a parking garage whenever possible.

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