My Car Was Trashed Last Night…Am I Covered?
We all have this fear. You wake up in the morning, get ready for work, head out to the car, and you have a window smashed, maybe some damage to the door too. What was it that made them want to break in? Maybe no one actually broke in, but something broke your window in the night or caused damage to your car. What are you covered for?
Call Your Insurance Broker
The first thing you should do is call your broker. Your broker is your first line in the process and of figuring out what should be done. As a broker, I can let you know more often than not people are worried about calling right away as they are concerned that we will know about what is happening. But don’t be concerned! If we know what is happening with your vehicle, we can give you options that may help you out, such as informing you about coverages you may not have remembered you had and advice about what a claim will do on your policy. Below are things you and your broker will need to consider.
The first question you need to ask is what happened? Was it a hit and run? Was it vandalized? Is the vehicle driveable? You may have different deductibles for both collision and comprehensive damage (such as vandalism) on your package policy, so depending on the type of damage you will have different amounts you are required to pay. If your vehicle is driveable, there may not be immediate cause for concern but if it is not driveable you may be in a situation where you need a rental car. Your policy may provide this if you have loss of use!
Was Anything Stolen?
Another important thing to note is whether you had anything in the vehicle that got stolen. How is that covered? In most cases an auto policy will not cover anything kept in a vehicle that is not attached to the vehicle unless it is there strictly and solely for the use of the vehicle. This is an important note as it means that your golf clubs in the back seat will not be covered, nor will a CD player if it is kept on the passenger seat, unattached. Your CD player will be covered, however, if it is taken from the dash and was attached to the vehicle, as well it will cover your spare tire in the trunk. What about the other stuff that was taken? If you have a tenant/condo/home policy, that policy would respond, albeit with its own deductible.
How Much Damage Is There?
When your car gets trashed, the next question is harder to determine, and that is how much damage is there? Unless you have knowledge of the cost of parts for your vehicle and the cost of labour plus a working knowledge of how much time it will take to complete the fix on the vehicle, you may not have this answer at your fingertips. The good news is there are many SGI accredited body shops that can adjust claims on the spot, so you don’t need to wait for SGI to be ready for your vehicle unless it is undrivable. Likely your favourite shop is accredited, but just to make sure take a minute to see Accredited collision repair shops – SGI Then give them a call and ask if they can, and schedule a time to go in and get this done. They will provide you with an estimate of repair that will be confirmed with an SGI adjuster to determine the cost of repairs.
Then we get to fault. We know as well as you that this was not your fault. The evidence is there, and there is nothing worse than going through an ordeal like vandalism, getting everything repaired, footing the insurance bill, and then being told the worst: your premiums are going to go up next year. The fact of the matter is that any time your insurance is used to pay for damages to anything, and the same is true for your home, your premiums will increase the following year. So, for instance, if you had a window broken but nothing else was damaged, it may be more worth it to just pay for a new window rather than using your insurance and having costs increase, than if you had damage to your door panels and the frame around the window as well. Of course, that being said, if you want to use it, use it by all means. That’s what your insurance is there for.
Paying For It
Once all of these steps are complete we get to the final steps: paying for it. Most shops will allow you to pay your deductible to their location, and they will submit the required bills to your insurance, as long as you let them know who your insurance provider is. The best of all is nothing will count as a claim against you until you accept the use of your insurance at this point. So if while the repairs are being done you decide you just want to pay for it yourself, you can do that and there will be no increase the next year. Sometimes, however, the shop will have you pay for the difference between your SGI Auto Fund deductible and the deductible shown on your auto policy. In those cases, provided your coverage was valid and in force on the vehicle, you would just need to submit the bill to your insurer, who would reimburse you the difference.
All this to say: call your broker if your car has been trashed. We have insight, as this is what we live and breathe. We can help you understand your options, we can help you find a place to go, and most importantly, we can make sure you end up alright in the end. The best time to have this discussion, however, is always before anything has happened. Give us a call, even if you aren’t looking at buying something it is always good to know what your options are.
Has Your Car Been Trashed? Contact Campbell & Haliburton Insurance
- Give Campbell & Haliburton a call at 306-757-0621
- Send us an email or contact Campbell & Haliburton online
- If you are unsure who you usually speak with, or if you would like to speak to one of our team of experts email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll get in touch with you as soon as possible.
- If you are comfortable, please stop by our office and we can talk in person. We have safety procedures in place, hand sanitizer readily available, Plexiglas in place, and home insurance experts waiting to answer any questions you have. We are here for you.
As you walk out of our door, you can do so with the assurance that you are covered with the auto insurance that best meets your needs. If you don’t have an insurance broker and want to talk to someone who is truly passionate about your insurance, contact us at Campbell & Haliburton Insurance. We would love to talk to you.
Licensed Insurance Broker & Motor License Issuer
Our Trusted Regina Insurance Agents at Campbell & Haliburton have your best interests and safety in mind and our commitment to customer service is one of the pillars of our business. We also know insurance inside and out, so please contact us for all of your insurance needs and we will be more than happy to help ensure what you value most is protected.
**(This is a general overview. There are many different insurance companies, and there are always differences in insurance policies. For specific details on your policy and coverage, we recommend that you contact your agent or broker.)