Does auto insurance cover bullet holes?

Comprehensive car insurance does cover bullet holes, as gunshot holes usually count as vandalism. Your rates usually will not go up after filing a claim for bullet damage, but you will want to pay for repair costs out of pocket if it is cheaper than your deductible.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor and Outreach Director, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming world o...

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Written by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach Sara Routhier

Cynthia Lanctot is an insurance professional with ten years of industry experience. Cynthia is licensed in several states, and holds an associate in claims law, as well as a bachelor’s degree in English. Cynthia’s experience includes the New England and Northeast states. She currently works as a liability claims professional and an occasional online contributor.

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Reviewed by Cynthia Lanctot
Licensed Agent Cynthia Lanctot

UPDATED: May 12, 2022

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A Concise Overview:

  • Only comprehensive auto insurance will cover bullet holes in a driver’s vehicle 
  • The cost of bullet hole repairs can range from less than $100 to thousands of dollars 
  • The cost of comprehensive coverage is usually less than a few hundred dollars annually

While we hope you never end up with bullet holes in your car, you’ll probably want to know if auto insurance covers bullet holes if your car ends up with gunshot damage. Since bullet holes can cause cosmetic damage to your car and serious damage to internal car parts, repairs can be expensive. 

Does insurance cover bullet holes if your vehicle sustains gunshot damage? Car insurance will cover bullet holes, but only if you have the right auto insurance coverage. If you don’t carry the right auto insurance coverage, your insurer won’t pay your claim. Read on to learn more how car insurance covers bullet holes.

What type of auto insurance covers bullet holes? 

Comprehensive insurance is the only auto insurance that will cover bullet holes. Unlike liability or collision insurance, states don’t require drivers to carry comprehensive insurance, but it covers a wide range of non-collision accidents. Some of the incidents covered by comprehensive insurance are damages from the following: 

  • Animals
  • Natural disasters 
  • Theft 
  • Vandalism 

If you live in an area with high crime levels, you should purchase comprehensive insurance. It will cover everything from hitting a deer to graffiti, and bullet holes have coverage under the vandalism section of comprehensive insurance.

As we stated earlier, if you don’t have comprehensive insurance on your auto insurance plan, your insurer won’t cover bullet holes. Adding comprehensive insurance to your policy usually costs less than a few hundred dollars a year unless you have a poor driving record or claim history with a company.  

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Should you file an insurance claim for bullet holes? 

If you have comprehensive insurance, you might be questioning whether you should file a claim. You might be worried that your insurance rates will go up. However, if you live in an area with high crime, the likelihood is that your rates are already slightly higher than average to account for the higher probability of you filing a claim. 

In addition, since bullet holes in a car are most likely not the driver’s fault unless they engaged in a gun shootout, insurers won’t raise a driver’s rates for filing a claim. Insurers usually reserve rate increases for at-fault accidents, which comprehensive claims don’t fall under. Unless you have a history of filing claims for gunshot holes, your rates shouldn’t increase. 

However, you may choose not to file a claim if you have a high deductible on your insurance policy. If the cost to repair a bullet hole in your car is only $400, but your deductible is $500, insurance won’t pay you anything for your claim because you won’t meet the $500 out-of-pocket deductible. 

If the cost of repairs is higher than your deductible, you should file a claim with your insurance company to get the bullet holes in your car fixed. The cost of bullet hole repairs varies greatly depending upon the damage done, but a small bullet can damage your vehicle beyond just cosmetic repairs.

A simple cosmetic hole in the car may cost around $100 to fix, but the repair bill can be thousands of dollars if the bullet goes through the vehicle and damages parts other than the outer body. For example, bullets can damage expensive components like the car’s internal computer or the heating and cooling system that will need replacement rather than repair. 

Bullet Holes and Auto Insurance: The Bottom Line

If you park your car outside and come out in the morning to find a bullet hole in it, you have coverage if you carry comprehensive coverage with your insurer. Carrying a low deductible will ensure that you don’t have to pay a high amount for repairs, although your monthly rate may be slightly higher with a lower deductible. 

Since states don’t legally require comprehensive coverage, some drivers might choose to forgo it to lower auto insurance costs. However, this coverage will more than pay for itself if you live in an area where bullet holes in cars are a common sight. 

Shop and compare insurers to find the best coverage at the lowest price. If you find a bullet hole in your car, call your insurer and get it fixed as soon as possible to get back on the road.

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