Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health insuran...

Full Bio →

Written by

Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager Chris Harrigan

UPDATED: Apr 13, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right car insurance coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our car insurance industry partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from many different car insurance companies please enter your ZIP code on this page to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

Here's what you need to know...

  • A keyed car is treated as a vandalized car in terms of a claim that you could possibly make through your auto insurance company to repair the damage
  • If you have supplemental comprehensive coverage under your auto insurance policy, you can file a claim for key scratches on your vehicle to have them repaired
  • Find out if you have a deductible under your policy and how much it is
  • A claims adjuster may need to come out and inspect the damage to your vehicle to make sure that you are not filing a fraudulent vandalism claim
  • You will be able to choose which repair shop you take your car to, but the claims adjuster may collect estimates for the repair costs to determine how much you will be paid for your claim

There is nothing more frustrating than having your car vandalized. If your car is scratched by a key, this is considered vandalism under your auto insurance policy.

If you have comprehensive coverage for your vehicle, you will be able to file a claim to have the damage repaired. You may be required to pay a deductible, so be sure to know the amount before proceeding with the claim and having any repair work done.

Compare rates for comprehensive coverage now! Enter your zip code in the box above for a free rate comparison.

What kind of insurance coverage do you need for a vandalized car?


If you only have the basic auto liability coverage that is required by state law, then you will likely not be covered for vandalism of your vehicle. This would, however, be covered under a comprehensive insurance policy.

This is an optional coverage that will protect you in the event that your car is damaged from something other than an accident. Collision coverage pays for damages related to an accident.

One of the reasons why it is recommended that you carry auto insurance above what is required under state law is that the type of damage covered through basic auto liability coverage is very limited.

Essentially, you are only protected for the damage that you cause to another vehicle or driver up to a certain limit under basic auto liability insurance.

In the event that you have any other type of claim for damage to your vehicle, you will need to rely on supplemental coverage or pay out of your own pocket to cover the repair costs.

The first thing you need to do before you file a claim for a key scratch is to find out whether you have comprehensive coverage on your vehicle. You will be able to find this information on your insurance card or certificate or through your insurance company directly.

If you do have comprehensive coverage, the next step is to check into your deductible. Often times, the repair costs for cosmetic damage to a car can be relatively small when compared to the amount of your deductible.

If this is the case, you may want to consider having the damage repaired out of pocket rather than filing a comprehensive claim through your auto insurance company.

One of the ways that you may be able to reduce your insurance premium on your auto policy is to increase the amount of your deductible.

When you are asking around for quotes from different insurance companies, be sure to ask about your options for increasing your deductible and how this can affect your auto insurance rates.

Compare Car Insurance Companies

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Compare quotes from the top car insurance companies and save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do you get your car repaired?

After you file a claim for the damage with your insurance company, you will be assigned to a claims adjuster. The claims adjuster is a representative of the insurance company who is tasked with inspecting your car and assessing the amount and nature of the damage.

You may need to provide the adjuster with a police report and other evidence, like photographs of the damage.

You should make sure to cooperate fully during the claims process while the adjuster conducts their investigation of the damage.

The claims adjuster may provide an estimate of the damage, which will determine how much you can expect to receive in settlement of your claim.

You are not obligated to use a body repair shop chosen by the insurance company, although you may not be able to state your own estimate for the repair work.

Keep in mind that the check from the insurance company to cover the cost of repair of your car may not be made payable directly to you.

In fact, it is likely that in the case of cosmetic damage to your car, such as key scratches, the insurance company will make the check payable to the repair shop directly.

This is because the auto insurance provider does not want to encourage any fraudulent claims for minor cosmetic damage.

What else do you need to know about insurance coverage for key scratches on your car?

Whether your car is covered for acts of vandalism, such as key scratches, will depend on whether you have supplemental comprehensive coverage.

Even if you do have this coverage, you may still have to pay a deductible out of your own pocket before you can receive any money from the insurance company to have the car repaired.

Depending on the extent of the keyed car damage to your car and whether you have a very large deductible, it may not be worthwhile for you to file a claim to have the car repaired.

Keep in mind, very light scratches can often be buffed out with a wet piece of fine sandpaper, applied in a circular motion. But don’t try to buff out a deep paint scratch, as you may do more damage to your vehicle.

Compare rates and coverages now by entering your zip code below!