Walking out in the morning to a vandalized car can be disheartening at best. Whether it's broken windows, paint damage, or something else, your first thoughts will likely be about the cost of repairs. Fortunately, if you have full insurance coverage, the damage may very well be covered. The following guide can help you get the correct payout so you can repair your car.
File a police report
Most insurance agencies require a police report in order to begin processing your claim, so your first call should be to the local police and not to you insurance agent. Depending on your municipality, you may be able to file the report over the phone or online, an officer may be sent to the scene, or you may be instructed to visit a police substation. You will need a report number, which will be provided after you finish filing the report.
Call your insurance company
Your second call is to the insurance company, where you can begin filing a claim over the phone. You will need to provide the claims department with the police report number, the damage details, and when the damage was discovered. Depending on your company, they may schedule a time for the adjuster to come out and take pictures, or they may request that you send in photos. Don't attempt to fix any of the damage until the insurance company gives you the go ahead.
Know what is generally covered
When it comes to vandalism, most damage to the vehicle is usually covered once the deductible is met. If you had items in the car stolen, you may need to also contact your home insurance policy. While auto insurance may cover the theft of some items, often it is the home insurance policy that covers theft of personal property, even if the theft doesn't occur in the home.
Get repair quotes
Make sure to get one or two repair quotes on your own to compare with the quote provided by your insurance agent. This way you can verify that the quote is a fair assessment of the actual cost to fix your car. While the insurance company may request that you go to a specific shop, you are free to use any mechanic you like. However, they may not pay any extra charges above the insurance reimbursement if your mechanic charges more than the shop they chose.
Contact your insurance company today if you have more questions.