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Does Car Insurance Cover A Stolen Car?

With the most comprehensive coverage plans, a stolen car will be a loss that is reimbursed by your carrier.  Having comprehensive coverage protects the vehicle against loss and damage that has not been caused by any type of collision. There are going to be exceptions with every plan and with each carrier, but for the most part, comprehensive coverage is going to pay out for loss including theft as well as damage caused by fire, falling/flying objects, earthquakes, vandals, explosion, riots, flood, glass breaking, or any damage caused from having hit an animal.

Whether your insurance carrier is going to pay for the loss of your vehicle due to it being stolen is going to depend on what kind of auto insurance you carry. Make sure that you are fully aware of what type of coverage you hold before anything happens to your vehicle. You won’t be covered for theft if you have only purchased liability coverage. In each state within the United States, comprehensive coverage is required to reimburse for a stolen vehicle even if the vehicle was stolen from your residence.

Comprehensive Auto Insurance Coverage

If you have comprehensive coverage within your auto insurance plan, a stolen vehicle should be covered up to (ACV) or Actual Cash Value of the vehicle.  Once it has been determined that the car has truly been stolen, you need to contact the police to file a report right away and call the insurance carrier to report the loss and start the claim filing.

Understand that comprehension insurance is something that is added to an auto insurance policy. It is not automatically provided with a standard car insurance plan. A typical plan provides liability and collision. With liability, you will be covered for any type of damage that you bring to another driver and their property. Under collision, you will be reimbursed for repairs for yourself that are needed from accidents. When you call the carrier after a theft to report the loss, inquire if comprehensive has been added to your plan.

The Police Report

It is imperative that the police report be filed immediately, within the first 24 hours, in order that there be a chance for the vehicle to be recovered and this has to be done for you to be able to file with the insurance carrier. Provide as thorough information as possible pertaining to the vehicle, the place it was taken, the time, and any other details. Sadly, there are fraudulent reports and police will be suspect of you initially.

The Insurance Claim

The insurance carrier will need the same amount of forthright, thorough information in order to review the claim and to decide their offer. You’ll want to provide them with details as far as where all of the keys were prior to and after the vehicle was stolen. The carrier will want the Certificate of Title as well as who may have had access to the vehicle with their name and direct contact information. The provider is likely to go to the extent of running a report of your credit in order to verify your financial credibility which will help them determine if there was any attempt at fraud. 

The Coverage

Comprehensive coverage with your auto insurance plan will generally reimburse for a stolen car up to the (ACV) or Actual Cash Value minus the deductible, plus if there is any rental car reimbursement, you might have coverage for some rental fees that you incur while the claim is in process.

Actual Cash Value is going to be the amount it takes to replace your car minus the amount it has depreciated from typical wear and tear and not including any deductible. The adjuster will allow for the make/model, accidents, age, value from Blue Book, with their review as to how they determine the value.

You will need to understand the factors that the adjuster uses in order to make their estimate. They will only be using the ‘core fixtures’ for value purposes which will include things such as the seats, GPS system (factory-installed), wheels.  Homeowners insurance could be helpful for objects that are not factory-installed including items like a windshield-GPS system. You should use the Blue Book and do your own research using the adjuster’s means of estimation as a way to find out what should be the value of your vehicle in order that you get a fair offer. There’s always the possibility to counter if you feel the offer is in any way unfair. Just be sure to provide plenty of documentation to support your claims.

What If The Car Is Recovered?

This is not a typical scenario, but if it does happen, there is generally damage to the vehicle or parts of the vehicle that has been stolen.  The carrier will go by state regulations on deciding if it is worth fixing the vehicle or rather calling it a total loss.  If you have received payment for the car claim already, the insurance carrier will typically become the owner of the recovered vehicle or you may need to return the claim payment if you haven’t used it for a replacement yet. It depends on the carrier.

The most important thing with your auto insurance is to make sure that you have added comprehensive coverage to your plan so that you are covered in instances outside of liability and collision. Otherwise, when you’re vehicle comes up missing, you’re going to be stuck without a car and no insurance to cover it.