Does car insurance cover a stolen car?

Comprehensive car insurance covers a stolen car in most instances. The average comprehensive car insurance rates are $11.57/mo in the US.

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Zaneta Wood, Ed.S. has over 15 years of experience in research and technical writing bringing a keen understanding of data analysis and information synthesis to reach a wide variety of audiences. She studied adult education and instructional technology at Appalachian State University as well as technical and professional communication at East Carolina University. Zaneta has prepared technical p...

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Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

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Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP®

UPDATED: Sep 20, 2021

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Here's what you need to know...

  • There is no such thing as a stolen car insurance policy
  • Your comprehensive coverage will cover your car if it is ever stolen
  • Your car is also covered if it is stolen and then in an accident
  • You have to do your part in keeping your car safe; lock the doors, know who you lend your car to, and file a police report as soon as you realize it has been stolen.

It is a horrible feeling to realize your car has been stolen and to be unsure if your insurance will cover it.

If you have comprehensive insurance, theft is covered in most circumstances. One thing that is imperative for you to know is that you must file a police report if you want to make an insurance claim for your stolen vehicle. 

The following article provides details about events that affect coverage of your stolen vehicle as well as ways to keep your car safe to so you never have to wonder: Does insurance cover theft?

Read on to learn all about stolen car auto insurance coverage. Then, enter your zip code above to receive car insurance rates from multiple companies!

When does comprehensive insurance not cover a stolen car?

As stated before, you can’t count on your liability coverage to help you take care of theft claims. However, if you have comprehensive insurance coverage on your vehicle, and you are current on your payments, your vehicle will be covered for damages caused by:

  • animals
  • trees
  • objects
  • vandalism
  • flood
  • theft

Most other circumstances fall under collision insurance.

The insurance company will do their part; however, the insurance company also has expectations for you, the car owner. You have to uphold your end if you expect them to pay an insurance claim.

The first expectation the car insurance company has is that you will responsibly secure your vehicle.

Securing your vehicle means different things to different companies, and you need to make sure you understand the policy terms of your comprehensive coverage.

Typically, they won’t deny your insurance claim simply because you did not lock your vehicle.

However, if you leave the keys in your vehicle, or leave your vehicle running, the insurance company will most likely deny your insurance claim because you did not responsibly secure your vehicle. It is up to an insurance adjuster to look into these things.

Another expectation that insurance companies have is that you will only loan your vehicle to responsible people.

If you loan your vehicle to someone with a criminal record, a stranger, or someone known for irresponsible behavior, and that person does not return your vehicle, the insurance company could deny your insurance claim.

The burden of proof is on the insurance company, but all they have to do is provide a criminal record, bad driving record, or a few witnesses testifying to the typical behavior of the person you loaned your vehicle to in order to prove you are at fault.

The last exception to having your stolen vehicle covered is the time frame in which you report your vehicle stolen.

If you wait too long, the insurance company can deny your claim.

It is expected that if a person’s vehicle is truly stolen, that person will contact the police right away.

This applies to loaning your car to someone who does not return it as well.

If the person you loaned your car to does not return it within 12 hours of the time you expect it back, and they do not contact you, you should report it stolen.

Any of these circumstances can cause your insurance company to deny your claim, even though comprehensive policies are designed to cover these things, you have to make sure you are upholding your end.

Be sure to look over your policy before signing it and take special note of these exceptions that will be outlined in the policy. Many people sign their policy without looking over the clauses and exceptions and are left holding the bill in the end.

When your vehicle is stolen, the insurance company will pay you actual cash value for your vehicle.

This is determined by how much your vehicle would sell for on the day it is stolen, so it is usually enough to cover the replacement costs of a vehicle of similar value, and can sometimes help with a rental vehicle when it’s time for you to peruse the dealership for replacement options. However, this can also be a problem if the auto policy is for a financed vehicle.

Actual cash value may be less than what you owe on your vehicle. If you owe more than your car is worth, you can purchase gap insurance, which will pay you the difference between the actual cash value of your vehicle and what you owe.

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What can you do to keep your vehicle safe?

The most basic step you can take to keep your vehicle safe is to lock the doors and take your keys with you.

It is easy to get used to a routine or to feel safe in certain places, but locking your doors and taking your keys with you will prevent 80 percent of thefts.

Hand-in-hand, where you decide to store an extra vehicle key is a major preventative. Never store an extra key in or on your vehicle.

There are magnetic boxes that some people attach to the underbelly of their vehicle with an extra key inside. These boxes are not a secure option to keep your vehicle safe.

You can also make breaking into your car less appealing. Don’t leave valuable personal items like iPods, purses, or shopping bags in plain sight in your vehicle. These types of valuables make your vehicle more tempting to would-be thieves.

Lastly, having a GPS system can help law enforcement track your vehicle if it is stolen.

Some insurance companies can also track a GPS and may give you a discount on your auto insurance rates for having one in your vehicle.

Finding an insurance company that you can trust is the first step in getting a good insurance plan with comprehensive coverage to protect you in the case of a stolen vehicle, and that is even better if the cost is appealing.

Using our free online insurance comparison tool can help you narrow down your car insurance company choices as well as find rates and quotes from top companies all in one place.

Enter your zip code to start comparing free quotes now!

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