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Safety

5 Ways To Prevent Car Vandalism

You’ve just gone out to eat at your favorite restaurant with friends and return to your car to find graffiti, key scratches, a broken tail light, and a shattered window. This is a shocking scene, and your first instinct might be to start trying to fix things or get into the car to assess damage. After all, this car was important to you on many levels beyond being a mode of transportation. 
However, the best way to handle car vandalism is through this three-step method: 

  1. Call the Police – Dial the authorities right away so that they can come and make a report. They might also be able to gather clues, so long as you haven’t touched or messed with the scene. This is even more important if you believe the incident just happened, both for your safety and bringing the perpetrator to justice. In addition, if you’ve had anything stolen, it might yet be retrieved if the police can follow a lead.
  2. Take Photos – As you’re waiting for the police to arrive, take a few snapshots of the damage. Make an assessment of how much it might cost to repair your vehicle and also assess if your car is currently driveable. If not, you may need to arrange a ride and tow truck.
  3. Contact Your Insurance Provider – Is car vandalism covered on your insurance policy? There’s only one way to be sure. Call your insurance provider and ask about your options.

5 Ways to Prevent Car Vandalism
Nobody wants to be stranded in an unfamiliar part of town with a busted car, or even just find their car damaged in their normal parking space at work. It weighs heavily on the pocket book as well as the mind. That’s why you should practice these five ways to prevent car vandalism.

  1. Park Near Other Vehicles – If you’re parking in an area that’s new to you, try to find a designated safe area (i.e. a parking garage with security cameras). If there doesn’t appear to be a secure area to park, observe where other vehicles are congregated. Park near the masses, both so there is more pedestrian traffic around your car and because they probably know the best place to park.
  2. Well-Lighted Areas – Parking lots don’t always have many cars. In less populated parking zones, park in the most well-lighted area. Lighting deters thieves and those who would otherwise commit car vandalism.
  3. Garage or Cover – Stowing your vehicle in a garage or beneath a car cover deters criminals because they aren’t tempted by what they don’t see or can’t easily access. Most car vandalism happens in less than one minute.
  4. Car Alarm – Does your car have an alarm system? Use it! If not, it still may be beneficial to invest in a motion-sensing alarm that could deter both car vandalism and theft. Vandals and thieves have a tendency to run when an alarm sounds, as it is too great a risk to stay.
  5. Security Cameras – Depending on where you live and the amount of car vandalism in the area, a security camera may be worth the extra cost and time to set up. After all, it not only acts as a deterrent but also catches criminals if they choose to act.

Making a Car Vandalism Insurance Claim
If your policy covers vandalism, you must then assess your deductible. If you believe repairs amount to $200 and your deductible is $250, it may be most beneficial to avoid submitting the claim. In fact, submitting a claim could cause your insurance premium to increase more and not monetarily benefit you at all.
If you have comprehensive car coverage that covers car vandalism and your damages add up to more than your deductible, your insurance provider will need the incident number and report that was filed by the police.
For more information on types of car insurance coverage and where car vandalism fits in, contact Higgins Insurance at 1-866-273-2911.

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