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What to Do After Your Car Is Vandalized

Posted by Allison Ruuska on 6/16/2008 at 1:00 PM

Be sure follow certain steps and take specific measures to protect your car to ensure your claim is covered by auto insurance.

Finding out your car has been vandalized can make your stomach drop, but if you have Comprehensive coverage on your vehicle, your auto insurance will often cover this type of damage. Keep in mind, even if you have the proper coverage, there are some steps you should take to ensure the damage is covered by your auto policy.

 

File a Claim

First things first: Whenever you need to make an auto insurance claim, your policy outlines what you should do. Most likely you can find these in the "Duties in Case of an Accident or Loss" section of your policy. Most insurance policies state that you must report your claim as soon as you can. When you do this, it's important that you provide as much information about your loss as possible, including the time, place, any witness information, etc.

In cases of vandalism, you also should notify the police within 24 hours of the incident. If you're unable to do this, make sure you contact the police as soon as you can. Filing a police report provides an official record of the incident, which often is used to help resolve your claim.

Additionally, your insurance company may ask you for specific documentation, such as a police report or personal statements. Your insurance company may also ask for receipts for any stolen items that are protected under Comprehensive coverage, like aftermarket car stereos. All of these items will help resolve your claim quicker, so be sure you have these readily available.

Protect Your Vehicle After a Loss

Your policy may also require you to take steps to protect your vehicle from any further loss after it's been vandalized. For instance, if a window was broken, you should cover it as soon as possible to prevent further damage. Often, your insurance company will pay for the steps you take or the materials you use — as long as the expenses are reasonable.

If you knowingly left a broken window as is without covering it and heavy rains poured later that night, any damage caused to your interior or electrical systems would not be covered by your auto insurance policy.

Also, while you should wait for a claims adjuster to assess the damage, you don't need to wait to protect your car from further loss. In general, once the police have taken the evidence they need from your vehicle and have given you the OK to move your car, you should take steps to prevent any further damage or loss to it. Your claims adjuster most likely will provide a damage estimate after this.

What Your Insurance Company Will Do

Having your car broken into or vandalized is a violation of your privacy, and your insurance company understands that. Once your insurance company has assessed the damage, they'll guide you through your repair options to help restore your vehicle to its condition before the incident occurred.

If your stereo was stolen, you'll receive a new one that's comparable to what was in your car before the break-in. If your dashboard was cut, it'll be fixed. Remember that your insurance company is there to help you, so if you have any questions about your claim, don't hesitate to ask them.

The information in this blog may vary based on your particular state or situation. Always refer to your insurance policy for your specific coverages.

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Comments

actually im not posting a comment....maybe you can help me w/my querry...i rented a car and someone scratch the right side w/a key i think from front to back....i took full coverage insurance for the car....when i returned it they told me that it was covered by insurance...now the car company called me and asking me to pay...they said vandalism wasnt covered by insurance????
Posted on 10/25/2011 at 3:40 PM by BOY SALGADO
@Boy Salgado: Please call 1-800-776-4737 and press 1 to connect with someone on our claims team. Then, we can better understand your situation and resolve your questions.
Posted on 12/19/2011 at 11:47 AM by Progressive
We are restoring a car and it will take a while and cannot be driven, and will be garaged.Is it legal to drop insurance on it while being restored? If so, how can you do it with out the state suspending your license?
Posted on 3/13/2012 at 8:33 PM by Nancy
@Nancy: Laws for coverage under these circumstances vary by state. Some states permit you to cancel your registration for the time the vehicle is not in use; others require you to keep your registration active and sign a form that the vehicle is inoperable. And still others require you to keep at least state minimum coverage for your vehicle, regardless of whether it's being driven. We recommend contacting your local DMV for guidance.
Posted on 3/14/2012 at 4:20 PM by Progressive
I've never run into this, so I was wondering. In cases where the car gets vandalized by a spurned ex lover, what sort of repercussions does the vandal face, and how often do they get successfully prosecuted?
Posted on 4/18/2012 at 5:13 PM by Jim
@Jim: Unfortunately, there isn't a general answer for your questions. It could vary based on the situation, state, etc. If you’re involved in a situation like this, you should call your insurer.
Posted on 4/19/2012 at 8:53 PM by Progressive
My car was keyed all over , from the hood to the sides up to the trunk area and some chemical was left on the hood and trunk , which destroyed the cars paint , I was at work. But because I was In a hurry I left without filing a report with our security office or the police dept. will I have any problem filling an insurance claim ? Do I still need to get any type of report ? Will pictures be enough ?
Posted on 5/9/2012 at 3:47 AM by Josh smith
@Josh: We're sorry to hear your car was vandalized. We always recommend both filing a police report and contacting your insurer. If you're with Progressive, you can reach our Claims Department anytime at 1-800-274-4499.
Posted on 5/9/2012 at 4:51 PM by Progressive
The thing is that you can contact the Claims Department anytime, but when you contact them none can help you if you call after 4:30 p.m. Our car was stolen. The police found it last night and today we couldn't contact with anyone that could tell us how to proceed. It is very upsetting.
Posted on 7/9/2012 at 11:20 PM by Amaya
the window on my car broken . My owner's manual was taken.(I did report it to police) Did not think must about it until they started to play with the car could not understand how they were getting in the car until i remembered the spare key it only opened the door and trunk (remote was attached ) My insurance company is telling me they can not reimbursh me for any of the damage or the vandalizing is this true
Posted on 7/23/2012 at 6:05 PM by shirley
My vehicle was vandalized last night. The back window was broken out. Our policy says a $500 deductible. Does this deductible apply to the window or is there a cheaper deductible just for windows?
Posted on 8/16/2012 at 11:18 AM by Steveny
Someone put Pinesol in my gas tank which has evidently gone through the entire fuel system and into the engine. would this be covered under comprehensive as vandalism and if so, does anyone have any experience with this? Any comments suggestions would be much appreciated!!!
Posted on 10/10/2012 at 11:03 PM by Mandy Duncan
My Car was vandalized earlier today, someone broke the passenger window.. Took 40cents, ash tray and a $20 radar, but yet let my GPS radio and about $80s of tools. I called my insurance which is Progressive and nothing they can do since i don't have window coverage on my policy. Cops can't do much either.. The only thing my insurance said was to call safelite. Which is over 50miles away. I can't pay for a new window intil the first of the month... Will they still help me intil i can pay the full price..
Posted on 10/13/2012 at 7:26 PM by Cameron Knight
My can was keyed on every surface tonight with some choice words scratched into my trunk the police believe it was someone who was angry with a neighbor - will my insurance rates go up if I report this? Thank you.
Posted on 12/3/2012 at 10:50 PM by sarah
What if you only have liability? And would if cover everything stolen? For example, I keep tools in my trunk and all my fluids.
Posted on 12/18/2012 at 3:29 PM by Michael
My vehicle was stolen last night. I called the insurance claim desk immediately. They told me i would get a call by 12pm today I recieved a call this morning and the police recovered the vehicle. there are damages as well as a welder which was in the truck is gone. My understanding is i have full coverage. If this is the case, is the Welder covered? I am still waiting for the call from the insurance claim department.
Posted on 1/4/2013 at 1:16 PM by Lisa Daniel

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