October 20th, 2011
Halloween has a sweet and fuzzy side. Cute neighborhood kids in superhero capes and bunny suits prancing down the street with arms akimbo. Candy corn and Snickers bars are on counter tops everywhere you turn. There’s even a bit of tomfoolery at the office, where someone dons a ridiculous costume for the sake of camaraderie.
But we all know Halloween has a darker side as well, and we’re not just talking about ghouls and goblins. The night before Halloween is interpreted by some to be Mischief Night, a ritual that generally features suburban young men getting in their cars and looking for differing levels of trouble. This trouble can tend toward the fairly innocuous -- like toilet papering a neighbor’s tree, but can sometimes stray toward downright vandalism which can be costly. Mischief Night can sometimes mean knocked-over mailboxes, or even damaged cars.
So is there a way to shield your vehicle from all this Halloween mischief? If it’s particularly bad in your town or neighborhood, the best way to protect your car would be to put in your garage, or leave it at the office that night and get a ride home. If those aren’t good options for you -- check on your car insurance.
Make sure you have comprehensive insurance. This protects the vehicle from theft, fires -- general vandalism. Comprehensive insurance is not mandatory if your car is paid off, so don’t assume you have it if you don’t keep up with these things. Collision coverage applies only when two vehicles collide, or when one vehicle hits a tree, lamppost or something similar. Check with your insurance provider to see what coverage you currently have and what options you have for additional coverage.
The upshot is that only comprehensive insurance covers you if some young punk in the neighborhood decides to celebrate Halloween by spray painting your car. Something to consider as October 31 approaches.