By Jim Donovan

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — The latest wave of tire slashing in Philadelphia and the surrounding counties has residents not only concerned about who is responsible for damaging the cars, but how the car owners are going to pay for repairs. 3-On Your Side Consumer Reporter Jim Donovan finds that while auto insurance policies can vary, generally, slashed tires would be covered by comprehensive auto insurance coverage.

Allstate agent Michael Lelli says, “It could be a tire slashing, breaking of a window, key scratches, anything that is an intent to damage someone else’s property basically falls under the insurance term of vandalism.” According to Lelli, several things will factor into the payout amount of a claim. First, consider your deductible. He says, “Almost 99 percent of the time someone is going to carry a five hundred dollar deductible.”

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Then you need to take into account the condition of the tires at time they were slashed. Insurance is designed to return things to the way they were before the damage occurred. So wear and tear on your tires will impact a payout amount too. The newer the tire the better. Lelli says, “We cut our checks on a depreciated value so you may have bought those tires at 200 a piece eight years ago, odds are they’re not even close to that value.”

The higher the deductible and the older the tire, the lower the insurance payout amount if any. Bottom line? You need to crunch the numbers and by the way, in most cases when you file a claim for comprehensive coverage, it’s considered a no fault claim which means your rates won’t increase.

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