How Do I Claim Vandalism on My Car Insurance?

You can submit an insurance claim for vandalism to your car insurance company if you have comprehensive coverage on your policy.
Written by Hillary Kobayashi
Edited by Amy Bobinger
If you have comprehensive insurance coverage on your
car insurance
policy, you can file a claim with your provider for vandalism damage. 

Comprehensive insurance covers vandalism 

Comprehensive coverage
pays the cost of repairs for damage caused by non-collision events, such as natural disasters (including fires, floods, and hail), animal strikes, theft, and vandalism.  

What is considered vandalism in insurance?

Vandalism involves the deliberate destruction of or damage to personal property or public property. Common acts of vandalism that drivers experience include:
  • Slashed tires or damaged tires
  • Broken windows or other broken glass, like headlights
  • Scratches or dents that result from someone keying the car
  • Damage from spray paint
  • Foreign objects or liquids being placed in the gas tank
If you don’t have comprehensive car insurance coverage, you will be responsible for covering the vandalism damage. 

How to file a vandalism claim

If your car has been vandalized, filing a car insurance claim might be the right choice for you. Here are the steps in the claims process:

1. Take pictures of your vehicle and record important details

Before you call the police, take some pictures of your car and take down notes about the damage, such as where and when your car was vandalized. Check all of your personal items and valuables inside your vehicle to see if anything was stolen.

2. Call the police and ask to file a police report

You’ll need to talk with the police before you call your insurance company. A police officer might come to the scene of the crime for an inspection. If so, make sure to ask for a copy of their police report. 
If a police officer cannot come, you’ll need to file a police report at your nearest police department office. 

3. Check to see how much repairs will cost

Comprehensive coverage is subject to a
, so if you file a claim with your insurance company, you’ll have to pay the deductible before your car insurance company will pay to repair your car. 
However, you’ll want to make sure that it’s worth filing a claim before you speak with an insurance agent. For example, if it will cost $275 to repair your car and your deductible is $250, it might not be worth filing a claim. 
Also, if the repairs cost less than your deductible, you’ll have to pay for the damage out of pocket.

4. Call your insurance company or file a claim on their website or mobile app 

When you contact your auto insurance company to file a comprehensive claim, they will assign you a claims adjuster. The claims adjuster will most likely stop by to inspect your vehicle. 
Don’t try to do any DIY repairs before the claims adjuster arrives—keep your car in the same condition as it was when you first found it vandalized. 

5. Take your car to a repair shop

Your auto insurance company will either pay the repair shop directly or they will reimburse you. You’ll need to pay the comprehensive deductible first, though. 

Purchase comprehensive coverage to avoid paying out-of-pocket for vandalism damage

If you are concerned about vandalism, comprehensive insurance is a useful coverage to include in your car insurance policy. Comprehensive insurance is usually sold together with
collision coverage
liability insurance
under a
full-coverage policy
Our experts analyzed thousands of car insurance policies purchased by real Jerry drivers, and they found that the average cost of a policy with full coverage is about $165 a month. Here’s how that breaks down with some of the nation’s top insurance providers:
Insurance company
Full coverage
% from average
You can add comprehensive coverage to your policy by contacting your current insurance for a
or by using
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Can homeowners insurance or renters insurance cover property damage to my car?

If you had personal property inside of your car that was damaged or ruined during the vandalism incident, your
homeowners insurance
renters insurance
can cover it. 

Does comprehensive insurance cover keyed cars?

Comprehensive insurance covers damage that is caused by keying. However, make sure to get a repair quote before you file a claim—it might not be worth filing a claim if your deductible is higher than the repair cost or if the repair cost is just a little bit over your deductible.  

Meet our experts

Hillary Kobayashi
Hillary Kobayashi is an insurance writer and editor specializing in insurance and finance topics. Hillary’s mission is to use her knowledge and love of education to help car owners better understand how they can save time and money on car ownership. The articles Hillary has published for Jerry span topics from state-specific bill of sale requirements to SR-22 insurance information.
Prior to joining Jerry, Hillary spent over ten years in education at Pacific University and the University of Oregon.
Amy Bobinger
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Licensed Insurance Agent — Expert Insurance Editor
Expert insurance writer and editor Amy Bobinger specializes in car repair, car maintenance, and car insurance. Amy is passionate about creating content that helps consumers navigate challenges related to car ownership and achieve financial success in areas relating to cars.
Amy has over 10 years of writing and editing experience. After several years as a freelance writer, Amy spent four years as an editing fellow at WikiHow, where she co-authored over 600 articles on topics including car maintenance and home ownership. Since joining Jerry’s editorial team in 2022, Amy has edited over 2,500 articles on car insurance, state driving laws, and car repair and maintenance.

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