If you discover that your car has been vandalized, your first step should be to take a few minutes to collect your bearings. Hopefully, you carry comprehensive coverage as part of your car insurance to protect against damage not caused by an accident. Here are a few tips on what to do if your car has been vandalized.
What to Do If Your Car Has Been Vandalized
1. Call Police
Contact the police department as soon as possible, preferably within 24 hours. Vandalism is illegal and the police department should file a report. Your insurance company will most likely require a police report before they can make any payments to cover the damage.
2. Do Not Touch Anything
Avoid touching the vehicle. Once the police arrive to make their report, they will want to see your car just as it was when you discovered it. There might be evidence, such as fingerprints, that will help them catch the person responsible. If you touch the vehicle, you might accidentally destroy that evidence.
3. Take Pictures
If the police are not able to make it over to file a report right away, take pictures of your car as proof of the damages. Your insurance company might accept your photosin place of a police report.
4. Prevent Further Damage
Take measures to prevent further damage to your vehicle. For example, if windows are broken, be sure to cover them with something to keep any rain or moisture out. If the interior of your vehicle is damaged because you did not cover broken windows, those additional damages may not be covered by insurance.
Protecting Yourself Against Vandalism
There are certain things that you can do to prevent vandalism in the first place. For starters, do not leave valuable items (such as portable GPS units, briefcases, and purses) visible to entice criminals. Park in well lit locations or open areas. If your car has an alarm, remember to turn them on. If you are the victim of vandalism, follow the suggestions above and contact your agent for more information on what to do if your car has been vandalized. It is a good idea to speak with your agent now and ensure that you have the proper coverage in case of vandalism.