5 Halloween pranks that are probably covered by your insurance

By Penny Gusner

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 30 2013 8:30 a.m. MDT

Some pranks are a little more costly than putting pumpkins on the cow's head. Luckily, your car insurance will cover more than you think.

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Editor's note: This article originally ran on CarInsurance.com. It has been reprinted here with permission.

Soon, ghosts and ghouls will overtake your neighborhood. While many just want treats, some mischievous Halloween celebrators enjoy pranks.

The Halloween Spending Survey, conducted by the National Retail Federation (NRF), found that 158 million people in the U.S. plan on participating in some way. For example, 70 percent of 18- to 24-year-olds surveyed said they plan to wear a costume this year.

But costumes, parties, pumpkins and haunted houses won't be enough for some of those folks. If your vehicle is damaged by a mischievous act or a careless accident, will you be covered? Yes, if you have the right car insurance coverage for the event.

Five pranks covered by car insurance

1. Broken car window. Whether a person uses a bat or giant candy stick to break a window on your car, it would be covered under your comprehensive coverage.

In Florida, if you make a claim for your windshield, it comes without a deductible being due. Kentucky and South Carolina car insurance companies waive the deductible for all glass replacement claims. In all other states, the deductible will normally be due if you make a glass claim unless you chose a zero deductible for glass coverage.

2. Slashed tires. Tire damage is also covered by comprehensive coverage. If you make a claim, your car insurance provider will take into account how much your tires have depreciated. Thus, you won’t end up getting paid for a set of new shoes if you’re replacing five-year-old tires with 50,000 miles on them.

3. Egged vehicle. If your car’s paint job is damaged by the volatile compounds contained in eggs, then you would claim it under your “other than collision” coverage, also known as comprehensive.

If you get to the car in time, you might try to wash the egg and save yourself from a claim. If the damage is done, then don’t be surprised if your comprehensive coverage won’t cover a full-vehicle paint job if only one area has been damaged. The damaged area should receive new paint, which the painters will try to blend in with the rest of the car’s older paint.

And if you have a custom paint job, it may not be covered unless you have custom parts and equipment coverage as part of your policy.

4. Sugar in the gas tank. Sugar in the gas tank has been proved by scientists not to be the nightmare it's alleged to be. The sugar should be caught by filters, but if it does get through it could clog fuel injectors. You may need to make a take the car to a mechanic to clean out the fuel tank and lines, which should be covered under comprehensive coverage.

5. Pumpkin chunkin’. If a pumpkin is thrown at your vehicle and damages it, then this would be considered a flying missile and again covered under your comprehensive coverage.

Pranks in general are considered acts of vandalism or malicious mischief and are covered by comprehensive coverage. This physical damage coverage also covers theft, fire, animal strikes, flying missiles and damage resulting from natural events like hail and wind storms.

Car insurance companies typically require vandalism claims to be accompanied by a police report. So, if it turns out it’s someone that you know that did the damage, the individual may be busted by the police and pursued by your insurance company for any money it paid out in claims.

It’s not just pranks that are covered

Halloween season may also result in other unexpected events that could be covered by your car insurance policy.