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Car keyed: Does car insurance cover the damages?


Jeff Springer

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Finding out that your car has been keyed is enraging. It can cost $1,000 or more to fix the damage.

If you have a car that has been keyed or scratched by another driver with their keys, your insurance company may be able to help.

Car Insurance companies are notoriously vague about what is and isn’t covered in their policies, but some of them will cover the cost of repairing the paint on your vehicle if it’s damaged as a result of vandalism.

It really depends on which company you’re working with and what kind of coverage you’ve purchased.

Will Insurance Cover My Keyed Car?

Comprehensive insurance covers the damage to a vehicle’s body that is caused by acts of vandalism. Comprehensive automobile insurance covers the cost of damage to your car that isn’t caused by another vehicle colliding with it (which is covered by collision insurance).

You can also reduce the expense of having your scratch fixed by making a claim under your insurance policy. You will still be responsible for paying any deductible on your comprehensive coverage, just as you would with any other comprehensive insurance claim.

You’ll be responsible for the repair bill if you don’t have comprehensive coverage or the cost of repairing a scratch in your keyed vehicle is less than your comprehensive deductible.

If you can identify who keyed your automobile, and the owner of the vehicle agrees that it was done without their consent, you may take them to small claims court for the cost of the repair, regardless of whether your insurance company paid a claim.

Is a Keyed Car Claim Going to Raise My Insurance Premium?

Your insurance premiums might go up if you submit an insurance claim to repair your car after it has been keyed. The amount of this increase will largely be determined by your driving history and prior claims.

A minor scratch won’t have a big influence on your auto insurance premiums, especially if you’re at fault. However, if the overall cost to repair the scratch is less than your deductible, it is not usually worth filing a claim.

This is due to the fact that a tiny payment from your insurance provider would soon be obscured by any rise in your rates.

If you’ve made a keyed car claim in the last one to two years, your auto insurance premiums are likely to rise as a result of that. The more times you submit a claim, the greater chance your insurance company has of raising your rates.

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How much does it cost to repair a keyed car?

Depending on the depth and breadth of the scratch, repairing a key scratch might cost anywhere from $0 to several thousand dollars.

Paint is applied to a vehicle in three steps: a white primer, a color coat, and a protective clear coat. The more layers of paint the scratch goes through, the more costly the repair becomes.

  • Scratch Only Affects Clear Coating: If you can remove the scratch without breaking through the transparent finish, you might be able to repair it yourself for under $150 or pay a professional up to $300 to fix it.
  • Scratches Break Through Clear Coat and Get to the Paint: Because clear coat must be reapplied after scratches, which can cost hundreds of dollars to repair at an auto body shop, some repairs may be more expensive.
  • Scratch Exposes Primer and/or Bare Metal: If you can see the white primer, silver bare metal, or plastic in the scratch, a professional repair may cost $800 to $1,500.

The cost of repair will also be determined by numerous other factors, including the length of the scratch, the color of your vehicle, and your comprehensive deductible.

Furthermore, this pricing is for the repair of a single body panel. If the scratch runs across more than one panel, for example, as on the hood and top of the car, your bill will rise considerably.

Is it Worth It to Repair a Keyed Car?

If you’ve damaged your car’s key and need to make it whole again, you may want to think about whether it’s worth the expense of repairing keyed scratches. Consider how the cosmetic damage will affect the automobile’s resale value and whether you’re personally concerned by it. If you plan to sell the vehicle eventually or if the scratches bother you, it is usually worth fixing.

If you aren’t planning to sell the vehicle and don’t mind the key scratches, you can skip this.

If you don’t want to get your laptop fixed, consider repairing the scratch yourself—especially if it’s a big one.

Although DIY home improvements won’t look as good as a professional job, they may rust and lead to additional issues later, so it’s best to address the situation right away.

What to Do When Someone Keys Your Car

Getting your vehicle’s key repaired is quite simple if it has been damaged. The method for repairing a keyed automobile is comparable to that of filing any other auto insurance claim.

  • Document the damage as accurately as possible, and search for security video or witnesses who can tell you what happened.
  • Even if you’re not sure whether you’ll follow through with filing a claim, contact your insurance company to begin the claims procedure. Because vandalism is a typical form of insurance fraud, you’ll probably need to see an adjuster in person.
  • Record the location and time of the event. If you can identify the offender, you may bring him or her to court to pay for the damage.
  • Contact an Auto Shop to Examine Your Keyed Vehicle and Make an Estimate. This is especially significant if there’s potential less-obvious damage you may have missed, such as a shattered bumper.

The auto body shop will either take your keyed car and repair it at this stage, or you’ll decide whether to go ahead. If you do, the automobile body shop will fix your keyed automobile.

When the work is completed, your insurance company may pay your mechanic directly, resulting in you paying only your deductible.

If your insurance company pays you, you are responsible for transferring the entire amount to the mechanic.

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