My Car Got Keyed. Will Insurance Cover It?

Getting your car keyed is an act of vandalism. Under your comprehensive car insurance policy, car keying is covered.
Written by Brooke Kottmann
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
comprehensive car insurance
policies will cover instances of
, including your car getting keyed.
Going out to your car to find your door has been keyed, or scratched by a key that’s pulled off a gash of paint in its wake, is astronomically frustrating.
That’s why the car insurance comparison shopping and broker app
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Will insurance cover a keyed car?

If your car is the unlucky victim of a
keying incident
, the good news is that your comprehensive coverage will likely insure the damage, as it insures vandalism.
Your policy won’t cover all of the damage, though. You’ll still be responsible for paying your deductible after you file a claim with your insurance company.
Note: If you can prove a vandal keyed your car, you can take the named perpetrator to small claims court to get reimbursed the repair costs regardless of whether your insurance company has already covered the bill.
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How will a car key claim affect your insurance?

Will a car keying incident affect your insurance rate? The short answer is it might, because your premium might go up any time you file a claim.
Your rates will not increase as much as if you had gotten into an accident because you are not at fault.
Though, your rate is more likely to increase if you’ve filed another insurance claim within the past two years.

How much does it cost to repair your keyed car?

There is no set limit on how much it costs to repair a keyed car. The cost of repair is calculated based on the extent of the damage.

Only clear coat

If the scratch is superficial and hasn’t gone through the paint's clear coat, it will cost about $150 to $300 to repair.
Alternatively, if the scratch is this minor, you might be able just to buff it out yourself and save yourself the cash and trouble of filing a claim.

Scratched paint

If the scratch has cleared the clear coat and
scraped off paint,
the auto shop can charge between $400 and $1,000 to replace these two layers of paint.
At this point, you’re unlikely to be able to fix the paint job (well) yourself.

Exposed primer or bare metal

Inspect the keying. If you can see bare metal or notice that the paint’s white primer is exposed, only a professional will be able to fix the scratch. The bill could be anywhere from $800 to $1,500.
The actual price for repairing a keyed car depends on the size of the scratch, the color of your vehicle, whether the scratch(es) extends more than one door or panel (the prices mentioned above reflect a scratch on just one door), as well as the cost of your comprehensive deductible.
Check the declaration page on your policy to find the deductible to see how much you’ll owe.
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What to do if your car gets keyed

If your car is keyed, follow these steps.

Document the damage

As soon as you realize your car has been keyed, document all of the damage. Take photos of the scratch and location of your car.
Be sure to closely inspect the entire vehicle to make sure there aren’t any other marks.
Look around the area to see if there are any security or home-video surveillance cameras. If there are, inquire within to get a copy of any footage of the incident.

Get a police report

After collecting documentation of the vandalism, let the authorities know your car has been keyed.
File a police report and document the time and location of the crime. If police can identify the vandal, you might be able to take them to court to pay for the damages to your vehicle.
After filing the report, get a copy of the document and keep the report number handy.

Contact insurance company

Next, contact your car insurance company agent as soon as you can to
file a claim.
Before you make the call, though, be ready to answer questions like:
  • The date and time of the incident
  • The current location of your car
  • Police report number
  • The collision center where you want to repair your car
  • The price of your comprehensive deductible
Upon contacting the insurance claims adjuster, provide proof of the damage to your vehicle.

Check your policy for rental car coverage

If your car gets keyed, it might take days for the auto body shop to fix the paint job. In this event, you might want to rent a car while you wait.
Review your comprehensive policy for rental car coverage, as it’s likely it’s automatically bundled into your policy. Most rental car coverages cover $15 a day up to $30.
Depending on your policy, you might have to purchase
rental car insurance

Get a repair estimate

Find an auto repair shop that will guarantee their work. To do this, ask your insurance copy for preferred repair shops and collision centers that guarantee their work.
It’s essential to get a
repair estimate
. The auto shop might find other damage related to the vandalism that you, the claims adjuster or even the police officer didn’t notice at first.
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Do you always have to repair key marks?

Car keying vandalism is cosmetic damage. Because of this, you don’t always have to repair key marks.
You should avoid repairing key marks if the price of your comprehensive deductible and outstanding repair costs exceeds how much your car is worth.
You absolutely should repair the key marks if they bother you. You should consider the repair if you’re concerned not fixing the paint job could hurt your car’s resale value.
, a
licensed broker
, will find you the cheapest comprehensive coverage. If your car ever gets keyed, having the best insurance coverage is one less thing you’ll have to worry about.


What do you do if your car gets keyed?

  1. Document the damage.
  2. File a police report.
  3. Contact your insurance company.
  4. Check your policy for rental car coverage.
  5. Take your car to an auto repair shop for an estimate.
  6. Pay your deductible.

Does your insurance go up if your car is vandalized?

There’s a chance your insurance can go up a small amount if your car is vandalized. Comprehensive car insurance covers no-fault incidents, including your car getting keyed, which is a common act of vandalism.
Conversely, your insurance can go up if you file a comprehensive claim (if your car has been vandalized), and you’ve already filed a claim within the past two years.

What happens if your car is vandalized?

Once your car has been vandalized, it becomes evidence of a crime. Leave your car where it is, document the damage and then call the police to file a report.
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