Smart-Car Tipping and How To Protect Against It

There were a lot of Smart-car tips in San Francisco this month. But it wasn’t advice that drivers got.

Over a two-day span in early April, San Francisco police received four reports of Smart cars being flipped over by vandals, according to USA Today. The cars were sometimes left lying on their sides or flipped over completely.

Media reports have speculated on the vandals’ motives.

Some reports say the vandalism may have been out of plain dislike for the small cars.

Other reports say the tip-overs could be a reaction to the city’s cost-of-living increases, an off-shoot of the Bay Area tech boom. Shelley Gallivan, a local whose friend was one of the tip-over victims, told the local NBC news station the incidents were a simple case of “misdirected anger.”

SFGate blogger C.W. Nevius concluded that the acts of vandalism were likely “a case of TMB — too much beer.” Smart cars weigh less than a ton each, according to the Los Angeles Times, making the two-door coupes ripe targets for what USA Today has dubbed “urban cow tipping.”

How To Protect Against Vandalism: Comprehensive Coverage

If you’re unfortunate enough to have your car tipped over by vandals, you probably don’t care much about the reason they flipped it — you probably just want the damage fixed.

Comprehensive auto insurance coverage does just that. This coverage pays for car repairs if the damage is related to:

  • Vandalism
  • Theft
  • Weather events like hail or windstorms
  • A collision with an animal
  • Other incidents not involving a collision

You aren’t required by law to buy comprehensive coverage, although your lender may require you to buy it if your car is financed. So if you want to be protected for the incidents outlined above, check your policy to see if you added it.

More than 75% of personal auto insurance policies have comprehensive protection, according to data from the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.

Comprehensive coverage comes with a deductible, which is a set amount that you must pay before your coverage kicks in. Once you pay your deductible, your insurer picks up the rest.

Read our page on how to understand and choose auto insurance coverage for more information on comprehensive and other coverage types.

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