Vehicle vandalism peaks on Halloween with nearly twice as many claims as usual

October 30, 2013

As Americans carve pumpkins and stock up on candy ahead of Halloween, they also might want to think about finding a secure place to park their cars. Personal vehicles are almost twice as likely to be vandalized on Oct. 31 as on an average day, a recent analysis from the Highway Loss Data Institute (HLDI) has found.

HLDI looked at insurance claims for vandalism made under comprehensive coverage from 2008 through 2012. Such claims include things like tires being slashed and windows being smashed. Data on vandalism claims were supplied by 28 companies representing more than two-thirds of the insurance market for private passenger vehicles. The average number of claims per day for those companies combined was 692. The average cost per claim was $1,528, for a total average daily cost of more than $1 million per day.

Halloween had the highest average number of claims for any day of the year with 1,253. Other days with high claim numbers were July Fourth (987) and New Year’s (944). Thanksgiving and Christmas had below-average claim numbers.

Holidays aside, vandalism seems to occur more often on weekends and in the summer. The number of claims was 16 percent higher than average on Saturdays and 7 percent higher on Sundays. The other days of the week all had an average or below-average number of claims. Looked at by month, claim numbers were highest in July, followed by August and June.

Average daily vandalism claims, 2008-12

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