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Does Insurance Cover Stolen Car? What Victims of Theft Need to Know

a burglar breaking into a car, breaking the window and vandalizing

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Getting your car stolen is a very stressful thing to deal for anyone to deal with. A thief steals a vehicle every 43.8 seconds in the United States. After the initial shock, you may ask yourself, “Does insurance cover stolen car?”. We have put together a comprehensive guide to help answer these frequent questions, in case you are the victim of car theft. You have different types of insurance at your disposal that cover different items involved in a car theft.

Does Insurance Cover Stolen Car?

Yes, insurance can cover your stolen car as long as the insurance is comprehensive. When you have comprehensive insurance, your insurer will pay you for the current value of the vehicle. You will get paid as long as the car has not been recovered. Comprehensive insurance will also cover any repairs needed on a recovered stolen vehicle.

Regardless of theft, you are still responsible for your insurance deductible. In other words, you will have some out-of-pocket expenses on an insurance claim for your stolen car.

What Is The Difference Between Comprehensive Vs Liability Insurance?

Liability and Comprehensive auto insurance are necessary for various reasons. Let’s look at how the two types of coverage can differ:

Comprehensive Insurance

  • Optional coverage
  • For situations beyond your control, such as theft
  • Covers your damaged or stolen personal car.
  • Must pay a deductible
  • Can purchase alone if your vehicle is in storage

Liability Insurance

  • Costs less in terms of upfront money.
  • Required by law throughout the country
  • Use if you are in an accident
  • Does not have a deductible
  • Use in case you hurt another person with your car
  • Use in case you damage property with your car
  • Buy alone if your state does not have requirements for other types of insurance.

A young man sits with the door open inside of a black used car that’s outdoors.

What Happens After a Car Is Stolen?

If you are the victim of car theft, there are specific steps you need to take to resolve the issue as best as you can. Let’s look at how we can handle this situation as efficiently as possible.

Make Sure The Car Is Stolen

If you find your car missing while out in public, it may be at the tow shop. Check to make sure you are in a legal parking zone. If you are at home and another family member has the keys to your vehicle, they may have taken the car without telling you. Call anyone and everyone that has access as quickly as possible. In the event of a theft, time is of the essence.

Call The Police

Once you have confirmed that your car has been stolen, the first thing you must do is to notify the authorities. Don’t hesitate to make this call. Call the police immediately as you will need to make a police report. Once you call the police, be ready to tell them as much information as possible about your car, the location, the last time you saw it, etc.

Call Your Auto Lender

If you owe a car loan, you need to contact your lender after you call the police. Whether you recover and drive your car again or not, you are still liable for car payments.

Call The Auto Insurance Company

Call both your comprehensive and liability insurance providers. Comprehensive protects the cost of the car and possible damage. Liability will protect you if the thief damages other property or causes an accident while driving your vehicle.

You will need to provide as much info to your insurance companies as possible:

  • Time of theft
  • Last vehicle location
  • Where car keys are
  • Car title
  • Names of whoever has access to the car
  • Car description
  • Condition of the car
  • Car lender contact information
  • Number on your police report

Call the DMV

This department has a database for stolen cars. They will need to add your missing car to the list so you can avoid problems with title or ownership in the future.

A white security camera installed on a modern, cement beige wall outside.

Check Street Camera Video

Many cities and businesses have some video surveillance. There are cameras hidden in places that you would never be aware of. There is a strong possibility the theft is on a business or individual’s video footage. With the everyday use of cellphone cameras, a civilian may have caught the thief in the act as well. If this theft happens in front of a bank or ATM, the ATM camera may have it on tape.

Check GPS

Many modern cars have built-in GPS tracking. The police may be able to track a car down with this technology.

What Do I Do Now That I Found My Car?

When you reunite with your car, call your insurance provider as soon as possible. Your comprehensive insurance covers any damage to the car minus your deductible. Any personal items missing from the stolen car don’t receive coverage under this type of insurance plan.

What Do I Do If I Never Find My Car?

After 30 days, your auto insurance company will give you a check for a fair market rate for your car. The company will take the deductible amount out of the check. If the police find your car after you get a check, the auto insurance company is the legal owner of the car now.

hail damage that results in shattered windshield on white car

Does Insurance Cover Stolen Car Items?

It is bad enough having your car stolen without also dealing with the loss of expensive items like your computer, cell phone, custom-made golf clubs, handmade leather, etc. While your comprehensive insurance does not cover your personal items, other types of insurance can help.

Your homeowner’s insurance can cover the cost of lost belongings taken during a car theft or break-in. If someone breaks a car window, leaves the car but takes a personal item, this falls under home or renters’ insurance. Usually, there is the personal property coverage section on your renter’s or homeowner insurance.

Our personal property is normally kept in our homes, so when one or more of those items go missing while we are away from home, our personal property protection is still available. In the event of theft, you do have to pay a deductible on personal property insurance. The coverage amount may also be very limited. In other words, you may not get the full market price of all your stolen items back. Your coverage may only pay up to a few thousand or a certain percentage.

What About The Property Stolen Inside of the Car?

If you have comprehensive insurance, it will cover any vandalism and broken windows. This coverage is valuable as your car can still get damaged during an attempted theft.

Unfortunately, auto insurance does not cover the personal property stolen from the inside of your car. So make sure that you have separate protection for personal items such as laptops, work tools,etc). Stolen property has protection under your home/residential insurance policy.

How Often are Stolen Cars Found?

Every year, authorities recover 1 out of 5 stolen vehicles. Unfortunately, those recovered cars may suffer damage. 30% of found vehicles have about $1,490 in damage. We would have far fewer chances of seeing a sports car again after a theft. Cheaper cars have a much better chance of recovery than more expensive ones.

Speaking of damaged cars, our data findings reveal that cars in the Northeast region of the United States have the most expensive damage compared to the other regions.

Of all the crimes that your local police must deal with, car theft is usually the most unsolved case. Police are only able to arrest an average of 12% of car thieves. They have a better chance of finding the stolen car than the people behind the theft. The lowest number of car theft arrests happen in the Midwest states.

A woman wearing sunglasses has her head out the window while sitting in a car driving down a road that's surrounded by trees.

Have an Auto Insurance Policy That Takes Care of You in Times of Need

No one wants to be the victim of a theft, especially such a big and expensive item like a car. While you can have anti-theft features on your car and be as careful as possible, sometimes a car theft may happen when you least expect it. Protect yourself with as many insurance options as possible. Comprehensive insurance protects your car. Liability insurance protects you when you are at fault in an accident or cause property damage. Home and renters insurance can protect your personal items.

Did you know that bundling your home and auto insurance leads to massive savings? Visit ONIT Home online today for a free quote, or give us a call at 1-833-433-0331. We skip the industry jargon and let you know exactly how you’re covered.