As we write, this is pretty topical stuff as everyone has seen vehicles being smashed up and some set alight and burned out during the recent inner city riots.
So we made it our business to find out just how you stand if you are an unfortunate victim.
First thing, if you car is insured on a fully comprehensive basis, well then you should have no problem and your insurer should pay your claim for damage, or loss of the vehicle as in most cases your policy will cover you for malicious damage, accident, fire & theft.
Don’t forget however, if your car isn’t insured fully comprehensively, you won’t get paid out, unless your policy is ‘fire & theft’ in which case, it will cover for fire damage, but fire damage only. Unfortunately, it won’t cover any other damage your vehicle sustains, such as being vandalised or perhaps having a brick thrown through the window.
If your car has been involved in a riot situation, the very first thing you must do is to report it to the Police and tell them you want a crime reference number as without this, your insurers cant even start to sort things out for you. Once you’ve got your crime number, contact your insurers quickly, don’t leave it as it may raise questions as to the validity of your claim.
None of this is good news and you will be inconvenienced if this happens and to add insult to injury, you are also going to be responsible for paying your insurance excess. So effectively, its going to cost you money just to get your vehicle back as it was before the damage was done to it.
In terms of legal action you might take to recover your losses, you are going to have to know exactly who damaged your car and you are going to need witnesses to support that. Then, you can take the assailant to small claims court and you might, or might not win and even if you gain a judgment against the person who caused the damage, it may be likely that they never pay you a penny, so unless you are absolutely certain you are going to win and that the criminal has the money to repay you, don’t go down this road as you could be spending out even more money you just wont get back.