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What do you do if your car is vandalized?

“What if your car gets vandalized or luggage stolen while on vacation?”

It’s officially vacation season… the kids are out of school and parents are quickly realizing that they need to come up with an adventure. So load the kids in the car, pack a few bags, and head on up to your favorite vacation spot. Imagine this, you get settled into your hotel and just take in the basics of what you need. When you wake up in the morning you remember you left your toothbrush in the car so you go out to get it… Your car has been vandalized and all of your luggage has been stolen!

What if this actually happens? It did recently at a Traverse City resort In this case the culprit was caught and will hopefully be required to pay for all of the damages, but what if you don’t know what happened?  Your question becomes who pays, your Personal Auto or your Homeowner’s Policy?

First, call the police and file a police report. THEN call your insurance agent.

Now… Let’s examine the car itself!  If you notice any broken glass in the windows or windshield, or see any damage to the door, don’t fret! These items are covered under the comprehensive coverage of your policy.  This is also sometimes called OTC, or “other than collision.” Anything that was manufacturer installed into your vehicle will also be covered in this loss, as long as you have comprehensive coverage. This includes things like radios and stereos, and even the tent if you own THIS Pontiac Aztek.  In addition to the broken glass, things like scratches, dents, slashed tires, and damaged seats would even be covered! If you do NOT have comprehensive on your vehicle, then you WILL NOT have coverage for the car in this scenario.

What about when the vehicle is in the shop getting repaired?  There is an optional endorsement that most companies offer on an auto insurance policy that would reimburse you for rental of a temporary replacement vehicle if your vehicle is rendered un-driveable due to damage from a covered loss.  This is especially useful if you are on vacation.

What about your luggage? Your toothbrush?!

Your personal property coverage follows you all around the world! Pretty cool, right? Your homeowner’s policy will be able to provide coverage, subject to your deductible, for your stolen items as long as they DID NOT come installed in the vehicle by the manufacturer . Some people travel with their cells phones and laptops, but when you’re on vacation, why take it into the hotel with you?

Luckily, if you left items like these in your vehicle, they would be covered by your homeowner’s policy. So would your clothes and other valuables that are your personal property!  There are special limits for certain items like jewelry or cash – so  talk to your agent to make sure your special items are covered correctly.

So next time you’re on vacation, try to let your mind relax and don’t overwork. Insurance is there for you!

As always, please feel free to call or email us at Harbor/Brenn if you have any questions or concerns!


  • Taylor & Aiden (Harbor/Brenn Summer Interns)