Does car insurance cover vandalism?

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Vandalism affects thousands of drivers every year and most comprehensive car insurance policies offer cover for the damage if you need to make a claim.

We explain everything you need to know!

Vandalism cover is usually included in comprehensive policies

Most comprehensive car insurance policies include cover for vandalism. The amount you'll be able to claim varies between companies, though.

So it's always worth checking exactly what you're covered for.

You may be able to get cover for vandalism with a third party, fire and theft policy, too.

Third party, fire and theft policies include cover for vandalism damage that happens while someone tries to steal your car.

For example, if someone isn't able to break into your car and slashes your tyres out of frustration.

Vandalism isn't usually covered by third party-only policies.

Vandalism includes any deliberate damage to your car

Any damage that's done to a car deliberately is classed as vandalism. Insurers sometimes call it 'malicious damage'.

Vandalism can include any of the following:

  • Bodywork damage e.g your car being 'keyed' or scratched with something sharp
  • Windows being smashed
  • Bodywork being bashed and dented
  • Graffiti
  • Tyres being slashed
  • Wing mirrors being ripped off or broken

Vandalism is usually considered an "at-fault" claim

Usually, car insurance claims fall into one of three categories; at-fault, non-fault and partial fault.

An at-fault claim is when you are to blame for an accident or your insurer can't recover costs from another person.

Non-fault is when someone else is to blame or someone else's insurance can pay for the damage. (Partial fault is when both people involved in an accident are to blame.)

Vandalism is usually considered an at-fault claim.

This is because although you're not to blame, the vandal is usually unidentifiable and your insurer won't be able to get costs back from them.

Your excess may affect your personal possession claim

It's worth thinking about your excess before making a claim for your personal belongings.

The excess is a sum of money you pay towards a car insurance claim. It usually starts at around £250 but can vary between insurers.

If your items aren't that valuable it may be better to cover the cost of repairing or replacing them yourself.

Personal possessions claims may affect your no-claims bonus

You could lose some or all of your no-claims bonus if you make a claim for personal possessions through your car insurance.

Having a claim on your record could also make your car insurance more expensive in the long run.

So it's worth thinking about whether claiming for your damaged or stolen items is worth the extra car insurance costs in the future.

How to report a vandalised car 🚨
Step 1: Contact the police Step 2: Get a crime reference number Step 3: Tell your insurer

Vandalism claims may affect your no-claims bonus

Your no-claims bonus could be affected if your insurer classes vandalism as an at-fault claim.

Quite a few insurers recognise that it's not really fair for you to lose your no claims bonus because of someone else committing a crime.

So they have things like 'vandalism promises' - where your no-claims bonus is protected if you need to make a vandalism claim.

Is it always worth claiming if your insurance covers vandalism?

Sometimes it may work out cheaper to pay for vandalism damage yourself rather than making a claim.

If your car is quite old or the damage is cheap to repair, then it might be better to cover the cost yourself rather than having to pay an excess when you claim.

Paying out of your own pocket can help protect your no-claims bonus too.

If your car is valuable and expensive to repair ot replace, then it may be better to claim through your insurance instead.

What to do if your car is vandalised and your insurance doesn't cover vandalism

It might be worth switching your car insurance over to a comprehensive policy that includes vandalism cover as standard, if yours doesn't.

Be sure to double-check your policy before buying to make sure it includes cover for vandalism.

If anything is unclear, get in touch with the insurer and they'll be able to let you know!

Sadly, if vandalism damage isn't covered by your policy, you'll have to pay for repairing or replacing the car yourself. 😞

Things you can do to help stop your car from getting vandalised

Although vandalism can be unpredictable there are steps you can take to avoid your car being affected:

  • Park in a well-lit area if you have to park on the road
  • Get a Thatcham-approved car alarm if you don't have one
  • Get CCTV for your driveway
  • Keep your personal possesions locked away out of sight
Updated on 5th May 2021