Car insurance claims for vandalism are common in high-crime areas – your car insurance might cost a little more than average if insurers think you live in a higher-risk area.
Car insurance claims are grouped into "at-fault” and "non-fault” categories, with the costs of damage paid by the insurer of the "at-fault” party – the driver who’s to blame for the accident.
You’re not to blame for having your car vandalised but insurers usually treat vandalism as an at-fault claim. This is because they can’t recover any costs from the guilty party.
You can claim for vandalism if you have comprehensive car insurance – in policy wording insurers often refer to vandalism as malicious damage.
Remember, you won’t be able to claim for vandalism if you just take out Third Party Only (TPO) or Third Party Fire and Theft insurance (TPFT). TPO doesn’t cover any damage to your car and TPFT only covers damage caused by fire.
As vandalism is treated as an at-fault claim, you’ll typically lose your no-claims bonus when you make the claim. But some insurers will protect your no-claims discount for vandalism claims, so it’s worth checking your car insurance policy wording. You’ll also keep your no-claims bonus if you’ve taken out no-claims discount protection.
Anyone making a claim for vandalism on their car insurance will still have to pay the excess. Your car insurance premium may also go up at renewal time if you’ve made a car vandalism insurance claim. Insurers might see you as a higher risk because you’ve had your car vandalised.
It doesn’t seem fair when you think about who pays for criminal damage when your car’s been vandalised. But if the damage to your car is relatively minor, you may be better off paying for the damage yourself rather than making a car vandalism insurance claim.
It’s not your fault you’ve had your car vandalised, but there are plenty of things you can do to cut the risk of it happening again:
Vandals will be more cautious about targeting your car if it’s parked in your driveway. Better still, if you’ve got a garage, use it, and keep your car locked safely inside.
Try to park in well-lit areas at night whether you're at home or away. There’s a higher risk of vandalism if you park in quieter areas, including during the day, as there’ll be fewer potential witnesses. Car insurers will take parking location into account when it comes to calculating your policy costs as well.
Having a CCTV camera mounted over your driveway should put off vandals. A dash cam may also get them worried if they see it. The last thing they want is to be caught on camera and identified – people causing criminal damage risk hefty fines or even being sent to prison.
Car alarms can protect against vandalism as well as theft because the alarm should go off if someone makes any significant contact with your car. Factory-fitted immobilisers are also good options.