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Will a vandalism claim make my car insurance go up?


A

Question: Last night someone threw paint thinner on the side and hood of my car. The police were called. Other cars in town were hit too. My son got into an accident this summer with the same car. The insurance went up. Will this make my insurance go up again?

Answer: Depending upon your state’s laws and your insurance company’s rating system, it’s possible that your rates will go up.

As you are likely aware, the damage to your car from the paint thinner will be a comprehensive claim, since it is considered an act of vandalism by an unknown party. 

In general, comprehensive claims don’t usually cause car insurance rates to rise. This is because comprehensive auto insurance claims mainly come about from incidents that you have no control over and aren’t at-fault for, such as what happened to your car with the paint thinner.

This comprehensive claim on its own usually wouldn’t cause your premiums to go up. However, there is the possibility that your car insurance rates could be raised due to the number of claims you’ve made.

The problem you could run into with your car insurance company is that their rating system, which must be approved by the state insurance regulator, may allow for premiums to go up if you have a certain number of claims within a certain period of time.

It may be that two claims within 12 months causes an increase in rates, or it may be three within an 18-month period, or some other formula that your insurer uses.  Thus, your son’s at-fault accident with its associated claims from a few months ago plus this comprehensive claim for vandalism may be enough, according to the underwriting rules of your insurer, to cause your rates to rise at your next renewal period.

To find out more about your specific car insurance company’s rates, speak to your agent. He or she should be able to tell you if another claim, so this soon after the summer accident, will cause your rates to rise again.

If your rates do go up, then we’d recommend shopping around for cheaper car insurance.

By doing comparison shopping, you may find a different car insurance company that has better overall pricing and service for your family needs.  You could end up saving money, even with these two claims on your insurance record.

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