Having your car stolen
can be a very scary and disconcerting moment. You never see it coming, and suddenly your car is just gone. The moment takes a while to sink in, as you try and figure out if you simply forgot where you parked it, or if it may have gotten towed.
Once you realize exactly what happened, it’s hard to know what to do. It’s likely that a million things will run through your head, as you try to figure out who did this, how it happened, what will happen to you and your car, and what to do next.
One of the things that likely will go through your mind is wondering whether or not your stolen vehicle will be covered by your car insurance plan. If your vehicle is not recovered, or is recovered but badly damaged, then a stolen car can be a pricy burden. Knowing whether or not that price falls on your shoulders is an important question to ask.
Does my car insurance cover my vehicle if it is stolen?
In general, your car insurance will cover a stolen vehicle if you have comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage
is car insurance coverage that takes care of your vehicle if it is damaged by a non-collision. For instance, if your car has a tree fall on it, or is hurt in a storm, or is vandalized, comprehensive coverage will cover the damage.
Comprehensive auto insurance almost always covers you if your car is stolen. However, it’s important to note that every company has a different definition of comprehensive car insurance, and what it covers varies from provider to provider. If you opt for comprehensive auto insurance, always ask your insurance company exactly what your plan will cover, so you know whether or not your vehicle is protected in the event that it gets stolen.
If my insurance covers car theft, what exactly is covered?
This can vary slightly depending on your car insurance company, but most providers have very similar policies for car theft. If your car is stolen, the insurance agency will wait for a certain length of time (usually 14 days), to see if the car shows up, or if the police find it. During this time, your insurance company should provide you with a rental vehicle.
If the car shows up, your insurance company will cover the cost of damages (or replacement, if the vehicle is totaled), just as if you’d been in an accident. However, if valuables have been stolen from inside the vehicle, your auto insurance coverage will not pay for them; instead, you’ll need to rely on homeowner’s or renter’s insurance.
If the vehicle is still missing after the set period of time, your auto insurance company will pay you based on what your vehicle was worth, so that you can purchase a replacement vehicle. If the car appears after your auto insurance company has reimbursed you, you will usually have the option to keep the car and return the money, or relinquish the car to your provider so that they can sell it.
While having a car stolen is a very scary moment, the aftermath doesn’t need to be. As long as you have the right insurance package, you should be fully covered, and make it through the situation unscathed.