Your day starts like any other, until you step outside and see spray paint or scratches on your car’s side panels. Or you notice the glass is broken and someone has rifled through your car’s contents.
Especially for vehicle owners who frequently park on the street, vandalism can happen. It’s often occurs when someone tries to steal your vehicle, take its contents or attempts to remove part of your car for scrap metal. In these processes, scratches and damages can result.
On the other hand, theft might not be the reason. Seeing scratches or spray paint on your vehicle may be an intentional act of malice, either by someone you know or a person purposely causing destruction.
In all cases, your car will likely need repairs, new parts, glass or a fresh coat of paint to be usable again.
Common Types of Car Vandalism
Vandalism can take several forms, with the following being most common:
- Keying a Car: Often on the side panels but a possibility on the trunk or hood, keying is the most subtle form of vandalism. Depending up where the scratches are, you might not even notice them for a few days, until inspecting your vehicle. Scratch depth influences the work needed: Minor scratches can be buffed out but if they cut down to the metal, the area may need to be repainted to prevent rusting.
- Broken Glass: Broken glass can be a sign of theft or malice. If you notice items missing from your vehicle, someone in your area may have targeted multiple cars. On the other hand, if the headlights are also broken, someone may have intentionally caused vehicle damage.
- Slashed Tires: This act of malice will require all damaged tires to be replaced.
- Spray Paint: This classic act of malicious vandalism may easily wash off but the damage is typically severe enough that a panel requires a paint job.
- Egging: Although many view egging as a mischief night prank, it can damage a car’s paint job, both through the acidic yolk and micro-scratches from the broken shells.
- Arson: Starting fire to a vehicle can cause significant property damage and claim lives in the process. Unless extremely minor, the typical car fire ends up totaling a vehicle and may even damage your home in the process.
Starting an Insurance Claim
Unless the damage is so minor that buffing is all your car needs, you’ll likely start an insurance claim after vandalism is discovered.
Unfortunately, unless you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance carrier may not assist with repair-related costs. Furthermore, any personal items stolen from the vehicle won’t be covered by auto insurance. You will have to file a separate claim through your homeowner’s or rental insurance carrier.
If you have comprehensive auto coverage, consider working with your carrier before having any work done on your car. To get the process rolling:
- Document the Damage: Take pictures and don’t move any items until a police report has been filed. In the process, capture all scratches, broken glass and the extent of any spray paint, then determine what was stolen from your vehicle.
- File a Police Report: A string of break-ins or vandalism could be affecting your local area and letting the police know can help them keep track. A police report number is also key for the progress of your insurance claim.
- Contact Your Insurance Carrier: To start your claim, document the damage, stolen items and have a police report number ready. Even with comprehensive coverage, you will need to pay your deductible first.
- Temporarily Repair Broken Windows: First remove the shards with a wet-dry vacuum and cover the open frame with a sheet of plastic to keep out rain and further damage.
If your car was recently vandalized, reach out to DaSilva’s Auto Body for vehicle repairs and repainting. We’ll also work with your insurance carrier throughout the process. To make an appointment, contact our Naugatuck shop today.