A common problem of car owners today is vandalism. These vandals lurk in the night and strike when they feel that no one is looking. I was a victim of vandalism once, and it was a tough and expensive lesson I learned. Thus, I want to help you learn how to catch someone vandalizing your car.
What to do if You are a Victim of Vandalism
As I’ve already told you, I was a victim of vandalism. So, I went through the following process to make an insurance claim. When I found out that a vandal smashed my windshield, I knew I had to gather all the information for my insurer before I can make a claim.
Document the Damage
I took photos of the damage not only for my insurance company but for my records as well. I found out from the insurance company representative that having “before” and “after” photos could speed up the claim because the insurer could determine the extent of the damage caused by vandals. Unfortunately, I didn’t have the “before” photos.
Secure and Protect the Car
Another good investment to protect the car is to buy a protective material to cover it. This protective cover can prevent damage caused by the elements like rain, snow, or sleet. I learned that the insurer might not compensate me if the factors caused the accident.
File a Report With the Police
Before filing an insurance claim, I had to report the incident to the police. I did this first thing I discovered that I was a vandal victim.
Aside from the photos and police report, I also documented witness statements and listed the items stolen by the vandal.
File a Claim With the Insurer
After gathering the required documents, I filed a claim with my insurance company. I waited for a claims adjuster to visit me so that he can assess the damage to my car. Then, he offered options about repair and replacement of my lost valuables.
I talked about car insurance coverage in the first part of this article. However, if you do not have coverage for vandalism, you may not be able to make a claim. Thus, you need to ensure that your car insurance also covers destruction.
How to Ensure the Car Insurance Covers Vandalism
Not all car insurance policy pay damages caused by vandalism. You need comprehensive insurance for it. Comprehensive coverage pays for damages caused by non-collision related incidents like vandalism, theft, weather and natural disasters, and animal collisions.
In most cases, the car insurance company will ask for higher premiums than the other kinds of insurance. However, the cost may be minimal when compared to the enormous amount of bills you will incur if a vandal damaged your car.
You can pay lower insurance premiums if you do the following:
- Be a safe and reliable driver
- Stay away from accidents
- Drive a safe vehicle
- Ask for available discounts
However, the adage about prevention being better than the cure holds for this case. Filing a claim can be time and effort consuming. There are ways to avoid being a victim of car vandals. I have listed some tips below.
Parked Cars in Low Light or Poorly Lit Area
I use a night vision camera because I sometimes park my car on the driveway or street. I chose the color surveillance CCTV camera because it can capture significant details of the perpetrator. Most of these cameras can capture long distances of up to 33 feet. Because of 24/7 monitoring and recording, the footage can capture the entire incident.
Parked Cars Away From the House
It’s good that I can park my car just outside my house, but if you are one of those people who need to park away from their home, you may experience difficulty monitoring your vehicle. Fortunately, security camera manufacturers offer long-range outdoor surveillance cameras that can capture decent images of at least 100 feet. These cameras also have varifocal lenses that are capable of optical zoom.
Parked Cars in a Detached Garage
In some cases, homeowners cannot run wires to the camera, especially if the vehicle is in a detached garage. Sometimes, they cannot install a surveillance camera. Thankfully, manufacturers offer Wi-Fi or wireless security cameras that run on batteries or AC power. Some models provide capabilities to record videos in Cloud storage or microSD card.
Parked Cars in Locations With Limited or No Internet/Network Access
In most cases, an underground parking lot is out of the Wi-Fi or Network range. I remember at one point I was in the same situation. Fortunately, I was able to buy a dash cam for my car. It could monitor my car even when there was no or limited network access.
Parked Cars in a Public Location
Whenever I park in a public place, I ensure that I do it near a surveillance camera. However, I cannot control the scenario because I do not own the device. Also, I am not sure if the camcorders are working or providing quality images. At least, I have some form of security that my car is safe.
Often, local authorities own the surveillance cameras. Therefore, the recorded footage can be a great help to the police. I discovered that if a local store has these, it was difficult to gather the evidence because those were privately owned. But, I still park near the camcorders because I can always retrieve the footage with the help of the police.
It is difficult and expensive to be a victim of car vandalism. Criminals can strike anywhere and anytime when we least expect it. Thus, it is significant for everyone to ensure that they protect their property from vandalism and theft. If you are one of those people asking how to catch someone vandalizing your car, you now have the right information that you can do immediately. As they say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.
Related Topic: 7 Ways On How to Deal With Trespassing Neighbors