Having a car vandalized right in front of your house is frustrating enough. Having no financial recourse for the damage only compounds the issue. Fortunately, vandalism itself is usually covered under your comprehensive car insurance. If the vandal damages or steals valuables from inside the car, then your homeowners policy may come into play. Even if it covers items stolen from or damaged while in your car, your homeowners insurance won't cover the damage to the car itself.
The comprehensive component of an auto policy covers most types of vehicle damage aside from collisions. Your comprehensive coverage kicks in if a tree limb falls on your car or some other damage occurs other than an automobile accident of some kind. It also covers you if someone steals or vandalizes your car. This coverage isn't automatic, however. Most states require that you carry liability coverage on your car, but you have to elect to have collision and comprehensive benefits. Carrying comprehensive protection is normally a good idea if your vehicle is valuable or if it is a model particularly attractive to thieves and vandals.
Damaged or Stolen Items
While your homeowners policy typically doesn't offer any protection for damage to your vehicle, it might cover items you have inside the car that get damaged or stolen. If a vandal breaks a window and steals your GPS unit, laptop or golf clubs, your homeowners insurance policy might cover the loss. You'll find information about this type of insurance protection in the contents protection portion of your policy. This part of your insurance pays for lost or damaged personal items. Usually the protection extends to items outside of the home, such as in a car.
Home Coverage Limitations
The language of your homeowners insurance policy can make stolen property claims a bit dicey. Some insurance policies treat your car as an extension of your home. If an item that you would typically keep inside your home gets stolen, the insurance company will replace it even if you let it in your car rather than bringing it inside the house with you. Other insurance companies handle things differently and place strict limits on items stolen or damaged upon being left in the car. These companies may pay only a small percentage of the costs to replace an item stolen from or damaged in your car. Read the personal property section of your policy to learn how your insurance company handles items stolen from your driveway in the event of a claim.
The significance of the damage to the vehicle and valuables inside it may impact whether you file a claim. You normally have a deductible from $250 to $1,000 on auto comprehensive coverage. Similarly, home policies commonly have deductibles ranging from $250 to $2,000. If the vandals caused moderate damage of just a few hundred dollars, it might make more sense just to pay for the repairs out-of-pocket rather than filing a claim.
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