Does Car Insurance Cover Vandalism?

(Get all your answers from an expert and find the coverage you need.)
Written by Sara East
Written by Sara East

Insurance doesn’t have to be boring. That’s why we hired Sara East to be our BA insurance writer. Maggie specializes in making mundane subjects hella-entertaining.

paul martin Reviewed by Paul Martin
paul martin
Reviewed by Paul Martin

Paul Martin is the Director of Education and Development for Myron Steves, one of the largest, most respected insurance wholesalers in the southern U.S.

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When will my car insurance cover vandalism?
How is vandalism covered by my insurance?
How much is covered if my car is vandalized?
If basic insurance does not cover vandalism, what will?
Expert(s) Found on this Page

When will my car insurance cover vandalism?

I got to my car after working all day and realized that my car was vandalized. Will my insurance cover it? 

Vandalism is a very broad subject, but at its core, vandalism is covered if you have other than collision coverage. 

  • Other than collision coverage: Insurance coverage that covers the cost of repairs to your vehicle if it's damaged by anything other than a collision. 

There could be a variety of ways someone can damage your vehicle. Everything from keying your car, to breaking parts of your car, throwing things at your car, or messing up the paint on your car, will be covered if you have other than  collision coverage.  

How is vandalism covered by my insurance? 

Someone spray-painted the side of my car and now I need to get a new paint job. How is vandalism covered by my insurance? 

When you report to your insurance company that someone has vandalized your car, they'll open a claim and investigate the incident. Upon accepting that your car was in fact vandalized, they'll use your other than collision policy to repair your car from the vandalism.

Your insurance company will work with you to have your car repaired by an approved repair shop in your area. They'll then work directly with the repair shop to get your car fixed. Sometimes, your insurance company  will provide you with the option to choose your own repair shop and get reimbursed for the cost, but I always find it easier to go with a preferred repair shop through your insurance, so that the billing is handled directly between your insurance company and the repair shop. 

How much is covered if my car is vandalized? 

I was staying at a hotel and came out to my car the next morning and found my window was broken and the inside of my car was vandalized. I filed an insurance claim, but I'm wondering how much will be covered? 

Like all insurance policies, your other than collision insurance policy will have a deductible. If your car is vandalized and you choose to file a claim, your insurance will cover the total cost of the vandalism minus your deductible. The actual cost depends on the type of vandalism and damage to the car. This could range anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand.

Seeing as you have to pay your deductible, it may not always be worth it to file a claim with your insurance company. If your deductible is $1,000 and it is only going to cost $400 to fix the vandalism to your car, then there's no reason to go through your insurance. I recommend just paying for the damage out of pocket. 

What do I have to pay if my insurance doesn't entirely cover the vandalism? 

Someone threw a carton of eggs at my car, and now the paint on my car is messed up. They also broke into my car and stole some of my possessions. Am I going to be financially responsible for all of the damage, or will my insurance cover all of it?

If you have other than collision insurance coverage, then your insurance will cover the complete cost of the vandalism. It won't, however, cover your personal items that were stolen from your vehicle. You'd have to file a claim for that through your homeowners policy. But any other damage to your car will be covered, minus your deductible. Your deductible will range anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand depending on the complexity of your insurance. 

If you don't have the proper coverage, you'll be responsible for 100% of the vandalism costs.

If basic insurance does not cover vandalism, what will? 

My car was recently vandalized and my insurance company said that I didn't have the proper coverage to pay for the damage. So if my basic insurance doesn't cover vandalism, what will? 

The only insurance option that will cover vandalism is other than collision insurance. This policy, also known as comprehensive coverage, is not required but is recommended. Not only is it valuable if your car is vandalized, but other than collision insurance covers a wide range of potential scenarios with your car. From vandalism to theft, fire, weather-related incidents, falling objects and even animal damage, other than collision insurance is worth adding to your insurance policy.

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