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Does car insurance cover vandalism?

In short, your car insurance company will cover vandalism damages if you carry comprehensive insurance. If you only carry the minimum amount of coverage required — liability insurance in most states — you will not be covered against damage resulting from vandalism. Read on to find out more about how car insurance companies handle vandalism and whether or not you have the right coverage. 


How does vandalism insurance coverage work?

The part of an auto insurance policy that covers vandalism is comprehensive coverage. Be aware, however, that comprehensive coverage isn’t a mandatory coverage (unless it is mandated by your lienholder or leasing agency). Comprehensive insurance is a type of physical damage coverage that covers your vehicle in non-collision circumstances. 

If you want to be covered against vandalism, you’ll want to make sure to carry this coverage. Start by checking your insurance policy’s declaration page or contacting your insurance agent if you are unsure about your current coverage.

 

Making a comprehensive claim

It can be shocking to realize your car has been vandalized. However, with the right insurance coverage, you can get your vehicle back to its original state. The process of filing a vandalism claim is really no different than a typical claim. If your car has been vandalized, consider the following steps:

accident photos
Photograph the damage

Before you clean up broken glass or move your vehicle, make sure to take photographs from multiple angles to properly document the damage. Many insurance carriers have mobile apps that allow you to upload photos directly, getting the claims process started quickly.

report
File a police report

While police may or may not arrive at the scene, it is important that you call your local police department to let them know about the damage to your vehicle and any property that may have been stolen. They’ll also require information such as your driver's license number, vehicle registration, and details about the time and location of the incident. 

claim
Decide whether or not to file a car insurance claim

Upon filing a claim, you’ll be assigned a claims adjuster who will survey the damage. Unless the amount of damage is significant, it may not be worth filing an insurance claim, as this may be more costly in the long run. You will need to first pay a deductible. Learn more about vandalism claims below.

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Get your vehicle fixed

Many insurance companies have a list of preferred repair shops with which they work. If your favorite auto body shop is not listed, you may want to contact your insurance agent to ensure that it’s eligible.


When to file a vandalism claim 

If your vehicle has sustained significant damage, filing a claim will probably be necessary. In some cases, however, filing an insurance claim may not be the best idea. If the damage to your vehicle is minimal, paying out of pocket could be a more cost-effective alternative. On top of having to pay a deductible, it’s possible that your auto insurance rates could increase as a result of such a claim, though this rise tends to be smaller than certain other claims.

See average rates with a comprehensive claim in the table below.

Accident/Violation Avg. Annual Premium
None $1,759
One comp claim $1,849
Two comp claims $1,936
Updated: 10/04/22.

In short, if the repair costs are less — or even slightly more — than your deductible, don’t file a claim. Getting an estimate from a local garage could help you determine the next steps you need to take.

Dynamic auto insurance data methodology

Methodology: The auto insurance rates displayed above and throughout this page are dynamic, meaning the data will refresh when the most recent information is made available. Rates are based on a sample driver profile — a 30-year-old single male driver with a Honda Accord and full coverage. This profile was adjusted based on common pricing factors used by major car insurance companies, like age, coverage level, driving record and others.


What does an insurance company consider to be vandalism?

Comprehensive insurance covers vandalism in most cases. It’s always a good idea to read the fine print of your car insurance policy, but most insurers will consider the following to be acts of vandalism:

  • Slashed tires
  • Broken windows
  • Keyed car
  • Graffiti

It’s also important to note that your car insurance coverage may not cover everything related to vandalism. Comprehensive coverage will cover your car if it is stolen, but it won't cover the contents. Similarly, if a window is smashed and you have personal items stolen, your comprehensive insurance will only cover the cost of repairs to your window, not the stolen items. Unless the items are a part of the car itself (such as a factory-installed car stereo), they are likely to be considered personal property. The stolen items would need to be covered by your renterscondo or homeowners insurance policy.

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Does car insurance cover riots?

Damage occurring during riots is treated the same as damage from vandalism. If your car happens to be damaged during a period of social unrest, your comprehensive coverage will step in to pay for the damages.


Vandalism and your car insurance: considerations

Dealing with a vandalism claim can be stressful, making the insurance provider that you choose all the more important. While all insurance companies are likely to offer both comprehensive and collision coverage, companies will vary by price and in how they handle your claim. You’ll want to make sure that you choose an insurer that has a good record of customer service and claims satisfaction to ensure a smooth process.

If you are worried about the cost of such an auto insurance policy, it could be time to start looking for new insurance coverage. The Zebra is a great place to start. We help you compare insurance quotes from the nation’s top insurance companies side-by-side. Just enter your ZIP code to get started.

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Ross Martin photo
Ross MartinManager, Content Quality

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. As a licensed insurance agent, he specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

Ross holds a master's degree from Royal Holloway, University of London and has a background in copywriting and education. As a former teacher, he applies his educational skills to explain insurance concepts in ways that consumers can understand.

Ross's work has been cited by The New York Times, AxiosInvestopedia, The Simple DollarThe BalanceCar and Driver and Fox Business. He has been quoted by CNET, I Drive Safely and Kin Insurance

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.