One of the many perils that could possibly be covered under your policy is vandalism. If you have ever walked out to your car to find that it has been keyed, egged, or vandalized in any other way, you know how violated it can make you feel. Regardless of who vandalized your car and for what reason, it is damage that you need to get repaired so that you do not get angry every time you are reminded of it. How you structure your policy and what options and deductibles that you select will dictate whether or not you will get help from your insurer. Read this guide to vandalism coverage and discover if you have it or have a need for it.
Basic Coverage: Will it provide coverage for vandalism?
Car insurance policies with minimum coverage limits that are required by the state are referred to as basic policies. If you are buying insurance to satisfy the state law and to avoid serious penalties while staying within your budget, it might be appropriate to buy a basic plan. Unfortunately, some vehicle owners who do not fully comprehend how insurance works assume that the basic policy provides a wide range of protection.
A basic plan will offer you the bare minimums and in turn a minimal amount of protection.
Basic insurance technically only provides you with Bodily Injury and Property Damage coverage unless the state requires additional options like Uninsured Motorist or Personal Injury Protection. Neither Bodily Injury (BI) or Property Damage (PD) will provide you with coverage to pay for expenses that you incur. Instead, each of these will pay for damages of others that you are responsible for paying.
When is vandalism or physical damage coverage required?
No state requires you to purchase vandalism or any other different type of physical damage coverage for your own vehicle. You may, however, be required by your lender to purchase coverage that will pay for the cost to repair your car when it is damaged while it is both parked and moving. Be sure that you understand what your lender requires and what deductibles are acceptable when you buy insurance. If you fail to purchase any type of coverage that protects the lender’s asset, it is possible that the car could be repossessed or you could be charged for force-placed insurance on your loan.
Do you need vandalism insurance if it is not required?
If your vehicle is paid off, it is up to you to decide if you truly have a need for coverage that will kick in for vandalism losses. While any claim can be frustrating, being the victim of an intentional vandalism can be one of the most upsetting. Unfortunately, no matter how nice of a person you are or how well you know your neighbors, anyone can be a vandal’s target.
It can be helpful to review the crime rates and how many vehicles that have been vandalized in your area, but even property owners that live in safe neighborhoods can come out to flat tires, broken windshields and carved doors. Instead of relying on what the statistics say, you should decide if it is a good investment by pricing the cost of coverage and then assessing the value of your vehicle.
In just minutes with a vandal, your car could easily be totaled if it is not extremely valuable. If you can pay for the cost of replacing the car or repairing it yourself, paying the extra cost for physical damage cover may not be practical. If you need the insurer’s help, paying that regular monthly premium is a good investment. Premiums for vandalism coverage is generally extremely affordable so it is definitely an option to consider either way.
Vandalism Coverage: Which coverage option pays for vandalism claims?
If you have decided that you would like to purchase coverage that will help you pick up the pieces if a vandal decides to attack your vehicle, you need to add comprehensive insurance to your policy. Comprehensive is a form of physical damage protection that will pay to either repair or replace your vehicle up to its market value when it is damaged in a covered loss.
While vandalism is covered under comprehensive, so is a long list of other perils. Some of the perils that will be listed in your policy booklet that will afford coverage include:
- Glass breakage
- Flood or water damage
- Hail damage
- Collision with live animals
- Civil commotion
- Falling objects or flying rocks
Do all vehicle owners have the right to buy comprehensive insurance?
Whether or not an insurer will give you the option to buy physical damage cover on your car depends on the company’s policies and your car’s condition. If your car has a very low value or it has suffered a loss and you did not repair it, there is a chance that the insurer will not allow you to buy comprehensive or collision.
It is common for companies to check the title of the car to see if it has suffered serious loss that might affect its value or structural condition.
If the car has a salvage title, it is pointless to get full coverage because the company will pay hardly anything on a claim. Some companies will simply deny claims on salvaged cars because you failed to disclose then when you purchased cover.
If you currently have insurance and you do not know what type of cover that you hold, it is time to review your declaration’s page. This document will show you if you have comprehensive coverage and how much you pay for that coverage. It will also detail what your deductible is if you do file a claim. If you feel like you can find lower premiums, now is the time to price the cost of coverage. Use an online quoting tool, get quotes for full coverage, and you can decide if a comprehensive policy is for you. Start comparing car insurance rates now by entering your zip code in our FREE tool below!