Damage caused by joyriding, who will pay for that?

Joyriding occurs regularly in our society and unfortunately it all too often causes damage to someone else’s property. What if your property is damaged by a joyrider? Who will pay for the damage and who can you contact?

What kind of joyriding is it about?

Strangely enough, in order to determine who ultimately has to pay for the damage, it must first be investigated what type of joyriding it is. Two forms can be distinguished:

  • Joyriding with violence to the vehicle (for example, there is forced entry damage to the car or forced entry damage to a home in order to steal the keys)
  • Joyriding without violence (In this case, the keys to a car that were somewhere in front of the perpetrator were taken and the perpetrator started driving around without first having to force the car further)

Joyriding without violence

If there is joyriding without violence, the insurer of the motor vehicle is obliged to compensate you for the damage. You can therefore contact the insurer if you only have third party liability insurance. You can find out the insurer of the stolen vehicle and take action through the police, your legal expenses insurer or your insurance broker. The fact that they may subsequently be able to recover damages from the perpetrator, insofar as this can be traced, is not your problem, you are immediately entitled to compensation.

Joyriding with violence

If there is joyriding involving violence, the damage cannot be recovered from the insurer of the stolen motor vehicle. In accordance with the Motor Vehicle Liability Insurance Act (WAM), an insurer may exclude such damage from the coverage of the third party liability insurance and all insurers make use of this option. You can recover your damages from:

  • The joyrider itself : This is of course only possible if it is known, you can check this with the police. In addition, joyriders generally have very few resources and it is therefore likely that you will not be fully reimbursed for your damages.
  • The Motor Traffic Guarantee Fund: If the damage cannot be recovered from the perpetrator (and you have made an attempt to do so), the damage can be recovered from the Motor Traffic Guarantee Fund

Which path should you take?

Initially, it is wise to check how you are insured. Do you have insurance that covers the damage, for example your home insurance in the event of damage to a building or your own motor vehicle insurance if you have so-called all risks coverage? Your own insurer will settle the damage financially with you and then attempt to recover the damage. Since such damages can almost always be recovered, this does not affect any discount you may receive for damage-free driving. In addition, it is quite possible that you take out legal expenses insurance. If this is the case, it is best to report the damage here. The legal expenses insurance will take the necessary action for you to recover the damage from the correct agency. If you are not insured against the damage yourself and do not have legal expenses insurance, you may be able to contact your insurance advisor. They often know how to settle such a claim and in many cases take over the claim handling completely for you. If none of the above options apply to you, you can always get started yourself. Because in such cases it is often not entirely clear what happened, it is easiest to contact the insurer of the motor vehicle that caused the damage. This will process the damage. If it turns out that the damage is not covered, you will receive a rejection after which you can still contact the Motor Traffic Guarantee Fund. news highlighted