Street art can add style and expression to an otherwise bland business park. But it’s not so cool when a vandal tags your freshly painted storefront or new delivery truck without your permission. Luckily, most commercial property and auto insurance policies cover acts of vandalism. Get to know the different types of vandalism insurance coverage and what to do if a vandal hits your business with a brick or a fresh can of spray paint.

What is vandalism?

The definition of vandalism varies depending on your insurance coverage. Broadly, it applies to the act of intentional property damage. Examples include:

  • Graffiti
  • Broken windows, headlights or taillights
  • Slashed tires
  • Tire theft
  • Dents, scratches or dings
  • Keyed doors
  • Punctured or damaged gas tanks

Does commercial property insurance cover vandalism?

Commercial property insurance covers a business’s first-party property for accidental damage, including vandalism. Commercial property insurance includes coverage for damage to your owned or rented location including owned business property inside or within 100 feet of your scheduled premises and can be extended to include loss of business income.

Here are some situations where commercial property insurance covers vandalism:

  • If a graffiti artist tags the front of your coffee shop with a less-than-cheery greeting, commercial property insurance can cover the cost to repaint if the expense exceeds your deductible. (Note that you must own the property.)
  • If a vandal breaks into your shop and smashes your shelving, commercial property insurance can cover the cost of replacement including any damage to stock you had stored there.
  • If you have to close your business while repairs are made, your business income coverage extension provides coverage for lost income and continued expenses until you can safely reopen.

While commercial property insurance covers most forms of vandalism, always review your policy for exclusions. For example, deliberate destruction by an insured is not covered. In addition, while commercial property insurance covers supplies inside your business, other business assets — like company cars — need their own policies.

Does auto insurance cover vandalism?

Commercial auto insurance covers damages to vehicles owned or leased by your business, like a delivery truck or company car, including vandalism. Commercial auto insurance policies can include liability, collision and comprehensive coverage.

Of these, only comprehensive auto insurance covers acts of vandalism. Comprehensive auto insurance covers vehicles from damages that are not collisions, including natural disasters, theft and vandalism. For example, if someone graffitied the back of your cleaning business’s supply truck, comprehensive coverage would help pay the cost of a new paint job.

Vandalism to a company vehicle can stop your business production, halting deliveries, pickups, or your commute to the office. Commercial auto insurance covers most types of vandalism to help you get back on the road quickly.

Make sure you fully understand your commercial auto policy. Liability and collision insurance are essential for accidents that happen on the road, but they won’t help in cases of vandalism. Only comprehensive insurance covers non-driving-related damages.

Does vandalism raise your insurance rates?

Like any insurance claim, vandalism claims could raise your insurance premium. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t file. Instead, talk about the claim with your insurance agent and get the assistance you need to recover your business from vandalism.

How do you make an insurance claim for vandalism?

It can be scary or frustrating to discover that your small business is a victim of vandalism, but there are simple steps to take to get things back on track.

  1. First, inventory the damage and assess what the vandal destroyed or stole.
  2. Next, document the damages with photos and notes. These will be helpful when filing a police report and insurance claim.
  3. Then, contact the police. Vandalism is a crime. Reaching out to the authorities is necessary to document the act for insurance.

Stay vigilant with vandalism insurance

Read the writing (or graffiti) on the wall. You could be a victim of vandalism no matter where you do business. Don’t let your company take on the full impact of repainting over graffiti or replacing a broken car window. Instead, protect your small business from damages with small business insurance from Thimble.

At Thimble, we can help get you covered before the vandals strike. Click “Get a Quote” or download the Thimble mobile app, answer a quick set of questions, and get covered within minutes.