Chelsey Tucker graduated with a Bachelor of History degree from Metropolitan State University in 2019. She now writes about insurance with her specialty being life insurance and has been quoted on Help Smart Phone and MEL Magazine.

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Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: May 17, 2022

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The Lowdown

  • Comprehensive coverage pays for damage from bullet holes
  • Bullets can cause unseen damage if they ricochet inside your vehicle
  • File a police report as soon as the shooting occurs

Finding bullet holes in your car can be distressing and a financial setback if you don’t have the right coverage. If you’re in the wrong place at the wrong time and get caught in a dangerous situation, you’ll need to repair your car.

Does car insurance cover bullet holes? If you have comprehensive coverage, your auto insurance will likely pay for repairs.

States don’t require comprehensive coverage, but it is important to add to your policy. In addition to bullet holes, comprehensive covers damage unrelated to an accident, such as theft, vandalism, and acts of nature.

Keep reading to learn when car insurance covers bullet holes and what to do if your vehicle gets shot.

Does car insurance cover bullet holes?

While most states require a minimum amount of auto insurance, it typically doesn’t offer protection from bullet holes. In addition, minimum coverage doesn’t include comprehensive coverage but it is easy to add to your policy.

Does insurance cover bullet holes? If you have comprehensive coverage it most likely does. Comprehensive coverage is an insurance policy add-on covering damage not caused by accidents. Generally, the damage covered by comprehensive insurance is out of your control.

Comprehensive insurance covers damages from:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism such as bullet holes
  • Fire
  • Flood
  • Falling debris
  • Acts of nature like hail, tornados, and hurricanes

Relatively speaking, comprehensive coverage is -inexpensive and could save you from high out-of-pocket expenses if your vehicle gets damaged. While some bullet hole damage may be inexpensive to repair, it’s possible damages will be costly to fix.

This table shows average comprehensive coverage rates by state. Each state sets its insurance rates, so costs vary by state and driver.

Average Annual Comprehensive Coverage Rates By State
StateAverage Annual Rates for Comprehensive
District of Columbia$230.25
New Hampshire$103.03
New Jersey$123.18
New Mexico$166.89
New York$156.66
North Carolina$123.00
North Dakota$227.64
Rhode Island$122.17
South Carolina$165.38
South Dakota$228.59
West Virginia$195.04
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On average, comprehensive coverage costs $12 a month and is available from most car insurance companies.

Comprehensive coverage is for unpredictable life events, like bullet holes. It is recommended to add comprehensive and collision coverage since both cover damages to your vehicle.

Collision coverage is just like it sounds — it covers damages to your vehicle from an accident. Combining comprehensive and collision coverages provides you with the most protection for your car.

Consider adding comprehensive and collision coverage if you live in an area with a high crime rate or high traffic volume. Drivers in these areas are more likely to have their vehicle stolen, vandalized, or get in a traffic accident.

Full coverage car insurance includes liability, collision, comprehensive, and other coverages required by your state. While more expensive, full coverage insurance provides the most protection for your vehicle.

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When does car insurance not cover bullet holes?

Although comprehensive insurance usually covers bullet holes, that may not always be the case. Your policy may have specific exclusions that detail events not covered by the policy.

Your auto insurance won’t cover damages if your car gets shot while you are committing a crime. It also won’t cover you if you damage your own car intentionally, so if you use your car for target practice, you’re out of luck.

Remember, auto insurance won’t cover bullet holes at all without comprehensive coverage. Unfortunately, while basic liability coverage costs less, it provides much less coverage.

Should you file an auto insurance claim if someone shot your car?

Consider your policy and vehicle damage to determine whether you should file an insurance claim for bullet hole damage.

First, ensure you have comprehensive coverage and that there are no exclusions for bullet holes. You may need to speak with an agent or representative to get your information.

You should also review your deductible, which is the amount you pay before your insurance kicks in. While a low deductible means less out-of-pocket costs, it also means higher rates. Many drivers choose higher deductibles since it lowers their auto insurance rates. If you have a high deductible, it may be higher than the cost to repair your vehicle..

Next, take your vehicle to a repair shop to determine what is damaged. While the bullet hole itself may be small, there could be internal damage.

If the bullet ricocheted, it could have damaged your airbags, engine, electrical system, and interior. These parts are expensive to repair and will probably require you to file an insurance claim.

However, if the vehicle only sustained window or body damage, repair costs may be considerably lower.

If the repair costs are lower than your deductible, you’ll have to pay for repairs yourself. For example, if your windshield was damaged, repairs may only be $250, so if your deductible is $500, your insurance won’t cover repairs.

Think carefully before filing a claim, even if the repair costs are more than your deductible. An insurance claim usually raises your rates for a few years, and it may be cheaper to pay for repairs out of pocket instead of incurring a higher insurance rate for years.

What should you do if you see bullet holes in your vehicle?

First, make sure that you are safe and that there is no longer a threat of gunfire.

Next, determine if and where your car sustained gunshot damage. If your vehicle was on private property, the property owner may be responsible for repairs.

Then, file a police report. Not only will your auto insurance company want to see a report, but the person responsible will have to pay for repairs if the police catch them. A police report also shows your insurance company that the damage didn’t occur while you committed a crime.

Additionally, a police report shows your insurance company that the damage didn’t occur when you committed a crime. 

Once you have taken these steps,, have a repair shop look at your vehicle to determine the damage and estimate repair costs. This estimate helps you determine whether or not you need to file an insurance claim.

If you can pay for the damages yourself, go ahead and start repairs. However, if you need your insurance company to pay for repairs, file a claim to start the repair process.

Your insurance company determines the following steps and if an adjuster needs to look at the damage. You’ll likely have to pay your deductible before repairs begin.

If the bullets didn’t cause significant damage, you might choose not to repair the holes. However, doing so may allow your vehicle to rust or cause unforeseen damages. In addition, your auto insurance won’t cover additional damages from failing to make repairs to your car.

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The Bottom Line: Does car insurance cover bullet holes?

When does insurance cover bullet holes? Car insurance covers bullet holes if you have comprehensive coverage and your policy doesn’t exclude the damage. However, basic or liability-only coverage does not pay for bullet holes.

If you find bullet holes in your car, file a police report, get an estimate of damages, and call your insurance company. 

Bullets can cause more damage than just the hole where they entered your car. You could also sustain damage to your airbags, engine, interior, or electrical system.

If damages are minimum, consider paying for repairs yourself. If you have a high deductible and low repair costs, your insurance won’t help. In addition, filing a claim can raise your insurance rates for years.

Pay close attention to your insurance policy to see if bullet holes are covered. Also, learn what scenarios are excluded by your auto insurance company.

Consider adding collision and comprehensive coverages to your policy to protect your vehicle from most situations, including bullet holes.