Comprehensive policies cover the cost of scratched paint, but it’s not always worth it to file a claim.
If your car’s been keyed, fixing the cosmetic damage could cost you hundreds or more if the scratch goes down to the metal. And while comprehensive car insurance covers vandalism, there’s no point filing a claim if your deductible costs more than the damage.
Does insurance cover someone keying your car?
Yes, if you have a comprehensive policy. Comprehensive coverage protects you from damages outside your control, like vandalism, theft, fire, storms or other kinds of damage.
However, if your policy has a high deductible, it might not always be worth it to file a claim. Get a repair quote for fixing the damage, and if the quote is less than your deductible, consider paying out of pocket instead.
If you don’t have comprehensive coverage or your deductible is more than the cost of repairs, you’ll be left to foot the bill yourself.
Should I file an insurance claim for a keyed car?
It depends on your policy and the extent of the damage. If your deductible is higher than the cost of the repair, there’s no point filing a claim.
If the scratch is short and relatively shallow, it may just need a touch-up, a job you could potentially do yourself or have done for a couple hundred dollars. If it’s extremely mild or hard to notice, you may even choose not to worry about it at all.
If the scratch goes through the layers of paint to the metal of the car, a professional repair job may cost you up to $1,000 or more, and leaving it alone can leave your car vulnerable to rust.
Will my insurance premiums go up if I make a claim?
Possibly, though rate increases after comprehensive claims tend to be much smaller than rate increases after a collision. However, the effect could be far worse if you’ve made another claim within the past year or two, since consecutive claims have a greater impact.
If you’re debating whether or not to file a claim, call your insurance provider and ask how your rates will be affected.
Protect your ride from damages with comprehensive car insurance
How to file a claim
To make a claim for this sort of incident, you should follow the standard procedure laid out by your insurer. If you’re not sure how your insurer processes claims, call or check the website. Most providers will let you file a claim online.
Get as many details as possible, find witnesses and let your insurer know as soon as you can after discovering the damage. While a police report may not be required by your insurer, it’s in your best interests to call it in. Finding the culprit could help you recoup the cost of repairs without relying on your insurance.
What to do after someone keys your car
- Start by taking a picture of the damage.
- If there are any witnesses who saw it happen, take down their information for the police.
- Call the police and report the date, time and location of the incident — and get a copy of the police report.
- If you have comprehensive car insurance, call your insurer to start a claims process.
- Have a licensed repair shop provide an estimate.
- Decide whether to go ahead with the repairs and potentially the claim.
Getting your car keyed sucks, especially when you have to pay out of pocket to get it fixed. If you have comprehensive coverage, you can file a claim to pay for the damage — but it might not be worth it if the damage is minor.
For severe metal-exposing damage, a comprehensive car insurance policy can cover the cost of vandalism and any other accident that’s keeping you off the road.
Frequently asked questions