Car insurance claims for vandalism are common, especially in high crime areas. With average repair costs of £700, vandalism is an issue all drivers should be aware of. Find out more about vandalism claims and how to save on your car insurance.
Accident claims are grouped into "at-fault” and "non-fault” categories — put simply any repair or replacement costs will be paid by the insurer of the "at-fault” party, which is usually the driver deemed to be to blame for the accident.
Although you may not be to blame if your car is vandalised, insurers usually treat vandalism as an at-fault claim. This is because they will be unable to recover any costs from the guilty party.
You will be unable to claim any repair costs from your insurer if you only have third party insurance, as this does not cover any damage to your vehicle.
As vandalism is treated as an at-fault claim, it’s likely you’ll lose some or all of any no-claims discount you’ve accrued when you make a claim. However, some insurers will protect your no-claims discount in the event of a vandalism claim, so check your policy documents.
Your no-claims discount should also remain intact if you had no-claims discount protection on your policy at the time of the incident, but you may still have to pay an excess.
Even if your no-claims bonus remains in place, your policy premium could still go up at renewal time (your no-claims discount is applied after your premium is calculated). Insurers may see you as more of a risk as your car has been identified as a target for vandals.
You will need to declare any claims when you take out car insurance for the next three to five years, but any impact on your costs should be minimised over time as your no-claims bonus is rebuilt.
As your annual premium is partly based on risk, you could be rewarded with lower premiums if you take steps to prevent your car from being vandalised again. For example, if possible, keep your car on your drive or in a secure garage, plus add an alarm if you don’t have one.
You can also take measures to avoid unnecessary costs if you need to make another claim in the future. Consider taking out a policy that includes a vandalism clause, so your no-claims bonus will be protected in case it happens again.
You might also want to take out no-claims bonus protection so you don’t risk losing your discount just as you’re building it back up.
Finally, remember that shopping around is the best way to save on car insurance costs after you’ve made a claim. See a range of car insurance quotes in just a few minutes by comparing car insurance with Uswitch.