Find out what to do if someone keys, scratches or vandalizes your car and if it will raise your auto insurance rates.
Finding out that your car has been keyed is an unwelcome surprise. If someone keys or scratches your car, it’s considered vandalism, which is covered by comprehensive insurance. If you don’t know whether you have comprehensive coverage, check your insurance declaration page or contact your auto insurer.
If you don’t have comprehensive coverage, or the cost to fix your scratched car is less than your deductible, you may choose not to file an insurance claim. That means you’ll have to pay out of pocket for repairs. However, if you can prove who vandalized your car in small claims court, you could be reimbursed for any damages. Find out how to handle a keyed car in this article, which includes:
So, you walk out to your vehicle and realize it’s been scratched or keyed. The steps you need to take after this discovery are like those you would take for most other car damage claims. Here’s what to do if someone vandalizes your car:
The cost to fix a keyed or scratched car depends on how many layers of paint are damaged and how long the scratch is.
If the scratch hits all the way to the primer or metal, for example, it could cost you around $1,000. Whereas if the scratch makes it to the paint, it could cost around $700 to fix. If it only cracks the clear coat, you may be able to fix it yourself. If not, you’ll likely pay around $200 to have it professionally fixed. Repair costs also vary based on your car’s paint job, your deductible amount and whether damage extends over multiple car panels.
Keep in mind that you won’t want to file a claim with your insurance company if your deductible amount is higher or around the same as the cost to repair your vandalized vehicle. For example, if your deductible amount is $500, but repair costs are $450, you’ll save money by paying out of pocket.
A keyed car doesn’t necessarily raise your auto insurance rates, but if you file an insurance claim, your premium could increase. Damage from a keyed car won’t impact your rates as much as an at-fault car accident would, though.
If you can avoid filing a claim with your insurance company and instead pay for repairs out of pocket, you should do so, especially if the increase in rates would quickly add up to repair costs or you’ve recently filed an insurance claim. Your insurance company will be more likely to increase your rates if you file several claims within a short amount of time.
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