When it comes to vandalism, any type of damage purposely inflicted on your personal property can be a source of frustration. However, slashed tires have to be one of the most disruptive. If you’re lucky, the culprit only slashed one … and you heeded your parents’ advice and have a spare on hand. If not, you may be stuck waiting for roadside assistance or a friend to fix your tire. Regardless, flat tires are a cost you’d rather not have to pay for out of pocket.
Fortunately, if you’ve done your due diligence when you researched car insurance companies and you have secured a stellar comprehensive insurance coverage plan, you have some options when it comes to getting your flat tires replaced.
Does Car Insurance Cover Slashed Tires?
If you have comprehensive coverage, then the answer is yes. Vandalism is covered by comprehensive insurance coverage. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage, then you cannot make a vandalism claim and, chances are, you’ll have to pay to replace your tire.
Of course, if the police catch the person responsible, then you can sue them in court to pay for the damages. But this isn’t always possible. If your tire was slashed while on someone else’s property, such as a business, then you might be able to sue the property owner for compensation, unless they have a sign posted stating: Park at your own risk.
What to Do if Someone Slashes Your Tire
If you have comprehensive insurance coverage on your vehicle, then you need to take specific steps to file a vandalism claim. Here are some steps you should take after having your tire slashed:
Document the damage: Make sure to take a picture of the damaged tire, or tires, for your records. Chances are that your insurance company might also ask you to send the pictures of the flat tires to them for their records. Another important step is to take notes about the time and place of the occurrence. This is to ensure that all details are recorded so that you don’t forget anything important.
Notify the police: Make sure to call the police within 24 hours of your tire being slashed. This will alert the police to look out for similar vandalism in the area and possibly help them catch the person responsible. Request a police report and get a copy for your records to give to your insurance company for your vandalism claim.
Contact your insurer: Once the police have done their part, you should contact your auto insurance company to file a claim. Chances are the company will ask for a copy of the police report and any photos or videos you have taken. Your insurance might send out an adjuster to survey the damage. Make sure to check with the insurance company before repairing the damage or getting new tires.
Pay your deductible: You’ll also have to pay any deductible you have before the auto insurance company will pay out for new tires. In cases where the cost of the damage is less than your deductible, you will be better off paying to replace the tire out of pocket. On the other hand, if you have expensive tires on your car, or more than one is slashed, you may want to file a claim.
Replace your tire: Once the police and insurance company have all they need, you can get new tires. As with all car damage claims, chances are the insurance company will issue you a check, which you will then give to the shop replacing your tires. If more is still owed, the repair shop will then bill your insurance company or you may have to pay the difference out of pocket.
While you can’t always avoid vandalism, you can take steps to prevent it. In many cases, parking your vehicle in a secure or well-lit area is a good defense against slashed tires. Installing motion-sensor lights or a security camera in front of your home is another option that may deter tire slashing and other forms of vandalism.