Does Auto Insurance Cover Car Theft?

Learn if auto insurance covers car theft
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You run into the grocery store to grab some snacks for the weekend, your vehicle is safely parked in the parking lot – but when you return from shopping, you notice that your car has been broken into and your belongings have been stolen. “Does auto insurance cover theft?” is one of the first questions you ask yourself. Malhotra & Assoc. has the answer. Call us at 1-800-945-1410. Let our team of experienced agents help you find the best rates in Ohio, Indiana, West Virginia and Maryland.

If you experience car theft, what do you do?

Being a victim of car theft can feel like a genuine nightmare. The feeling when you discover your car is not where you parked it can be jarring.  It’s important to maintain a level head and consider whether anything else occurred. Below are some things to consider. 

  • Was your vehicle parked illegally and towed away?
  • Are you are behind on payments and was it repossessed as a result?
  • Has it been impounded or claimed by a creditor? If it wasn’t, report the car as stolen right away. Cars equipped with tracking devices can aid in the recovery of your vehicle, so time is of the essence.
  • Lastly, contact your insurance company right away to file a car theft claim as soon as possible.

Do insurance companies offer anti-theft discounts?

Some vehicles with manual and passive alarms or monitoring systems can qualify for discounts from some carriers. If your vehicle identification number (VIN) is etched on the window or door, you may also be eligible for a discount. Living in certain states can also provide an anti-theft discount. Our team at Malhotra & Assoc. Insurance can assist you in finding the best discounts. Call us at 1-800-945-1410 to learn more. 

If my stolen car is recovered will my insurance company cover any damages?

In the United States, about 46% of stolen vehicles are recovered. Even if your car is among that group, the vehicle may be damaged or missing parts. Even if your car is fortunate enough to be recovered, your vehicle may still be damaged from the theft.

Your insurer will typically pay for repairs to the car unless the costs are higher than the value of the car — which would classify your vehicle as a total loss. In the event that the insurer decides to repair your vehicle and you have comprehensive coverage, the cost of the repairs will be reimbursed to you, minus any insurance premiums you might owe.

If your car is stolen, your insurer should reimburse you for the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV), minus the deductible. The ACV is the current market value of your car based on its condition prior to the theft, its age, trim, mileage, and other factors. Depending on your situation, sometimes the reimbursement is not enough to pay off your loan or lease. You might consider gap coverage if you owe more on your car loan than it’s worth. Gap coverage enables you to cover a portion of the difference between the amount owed and the ACV.

In the event that your vehicle is recovered after your insurer has paid out your claim, your insurer will likely take ownership of the car. However, If you haven’t purchased a replacement car, you may be required to refund the claim sum. Your provider will likely handle this on a case-by-case basis.

Does car insurance cover the theft of items from my car?

Comprehensive coverage does not cover theft of Items stolen from your vehicle, like a laptop, briefcase, or phone. Your renters or home insurance policy may cover belongings stolen out of your car. However, personal property coverage has a deductible and a coverage limit. Nonetheless, your policy may reduce coverage for personal property when they’re away from your place of residence. This is often referred to as ‘off-premises coverage’. Make sure to check your policy or ask your agent so you know how much coverage you have for your property while it’s in your vehicle.

Does car insurance cover stolen car parts?

Comprehensive coverage helps to pay for the replacement of stolen car parts up to the coverage cap and minus the deductible. Custom parts or special equipment you’ve installed on your car, such as a high-tech sound system, are usually excluded from comprehensive coverage. Although, you may be able to get extra coverage for such custom additions, check with your agent to be sure.

Furthermore, your specific policy will also determine how it will replace the parts — if OEM or aftermarket parts will be used. Bear in mind that depreciation can be factored into the cost of repairing stolen parts on your car depending on your coverage. So it’s vital that you understand how your coverage works, read your policy and feel free to speak with one of our agents if you have further questions or need clarification.

Does my car insurance policy cover vandalism?

Obviously, comprehensive coverage is strongly advised for your safety in the event that your car is stolen. However, comprehensive insurance also covers vandalism and glass breakage, two events that often occur in conjunction with car theft. Comprehensive coverage also gives you coverage for falling objects (such as hail or branches) even water damage. Comprehensive coverage can be a real lifesaver in the event of such incidents. At Malhotra & Assoc Insurance, we work directly with you to determine which coverage best suits your needs. Our one-on-one approach with customers is what sets us apart from the competition. 

What are the top stolen vehicles?

Check the National Insurance Crime Bureau’s latest Hot Wheels report, which includes crime data from across the country. In 2019, Ford’s full-size pickups were the most stolen vehicle, succeeding the Honda Civic as the top target of thieves. 

*Our blog articles are intended for general informational purposes. Please contact one of our Licensed Insurance Agents if you have specific questions about your coverage.

About the Author: Alekha is an expert in the insurance space and has been with the Malhotra & Assoc. Insurance team since its inception. Alekha provides expertly written and researched content for the Maholtra & Assoc Insurance agency and its customers. Edit Post

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