Does auto insurance cover theft?

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Car theft is a gruesome experience that makes victims worry and anxious. Finding out what your car insurance covers for theft can be one of the highlights of this difficult experience. While many types of auto insurance cover vehicle theft, whether or not your policy will be covered depends on the exact terms of the insurance coverage you choose to purchase. And remember that even with a policy that regulates theft of vehicles, personal property in the stolen vehicle does not count. To do this, claims are filed with homeowner or renter insurance.

Key findings

  • There are several types of car insurance – liability insurance does not cover car theft.
  • Comprehensive auto insurance usually covers theft as well as vandalism.
  • Car insurance usually does not cover theft of personal property inside the car – these things are taken care of by homeowners or renters.
  • Submit a police report and claim an insurance claim as soon as possible after the theft.

Liability versus comprehensive auto insurance

Car insurance is included in several different varieties. Responsibility is the most basic and mandatory in all states except New Hampshire and Vermont. Accident insurance helps pay for additional damage in the event of an accident. Neither liability nor collision insurance protects against vehicle theft.

If you are looking for insurance to cover stolen vehicles, you need a comprehensive policy. Comprehensive vehicle insurance is often accompanied by collision and other insurance, or you can simply buy a comprehensive policy that provides insurance in the event of theft or burglary of your vehicle.

Other types of insurance can help

While the overarching one usually covers theft of the vehicle, it only covers the vehicle itself and not personal property left inside. To do this, you need to file a claim with the homeowners or renters insurance company.

Most homeowners or renters have a policy to steal your personal property, even items stolen from your vehicle. Check the exact terms of your policy so you know what is covered and what is not. So, be prepared to file two different claims, one for car insurance and the other for homeowner or renter insurance for your personal belongings that were inside the car.

Be aware that some home insurance policies have a lower limit for stolen property when you are not at home.

What to do if your car is stolen

If your car or truck is stolen, call the police immediately and file a report. The police will need basic information such as make and model, license plate and possibly vehicle identification number. Then contact your insurance company to find out if you are insured. If you think there are personal belongings in the car, call your home insurance company or the renter’s insurance company.

Do this without delay. Your claim will be processed faster and the chances of your vehicle being found will increase.

If your claim is met, many insurance companies use actual cash value (ACV) your car to determine the amount of the payment. The total amount will also depend on the terms of your policy. An insurance company specialist determines the cost of a vehicle based on its age, make, model and normal wear and tear. Upgrades you make, such as premium seats or wheels, will count, but not accessories such as a premium stereo or music player that can be removed. Once the appraiser has determined the value of the vehicle, you will usually receive a check for that amount minus any deductible on your policy.

The essence

Since there are many auto insurance policies out there, remember that only a few will protect you if your vehicle is stolen or burglarized. You will not be covered by liability insurance or collision insurance alone. Only comprehensive insurance covers your car in the event of theft, and it does not cover personal property left inside. To do this, you need to file a claim with the organization that issued your landlord’s or tenant’s policy. Make sure to file a police report and claim your insurance claim as soon as possible – this will speed up the process and allow you to have your car replaced as soon as possible.

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