Car insurance covers auto theft and vandalism for drivers with comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is optional and can help replace your car if it’s stolen, replace certain parts of your car that are stolen, or repair damage to your car resulting from theft or vandalism. Comprehensive coverage won’t cover theft of your personal belongings, like your phone, laptop, or other valuables. Those items should be listed on your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, even if you often leave them in your car.
Normal liability car insurance won’t cover theft because it protects the other driver from bodily injury and property damage resulting from an accident you cause.
What Insurance Covers If Your Car Is Stolen
The coverage limit for claims related to theft is typically your car’s depreciated value, or actual cash value (ACV). Your coverage limit is the maximum amount your insurer will pay for a claim. So, if someone steals your car, the insurance company will pay the actual cash value of the vehicle, minus your deductible. The ACV is the car’s market value based on pre-loss condition, age, options, mileage, etc.
If you are financing your vehicle, the amount insurance pays may not be enough to pay off your loan or lease. If you owe more than your car is worth, you should consider gap insurance, which helps cover the difference between your car’s actual value and the balance owed.
You should also keep in mind that comprehensive coverage won’t pay for a rental vehicle as part of your stolen car claim. You’d need rental reimbursement coverage on your policy to help pay for transportation costs related to your car being stolen.
What To Do When Your Car Is Stolen
If your car is stolen, file a police report as soon as possible—ideally within 24 hours. Not only will this improve your chances of recovering the car, but you’ll also need a police report to file a claim with your insurance provider. After you’ve filed a report, you should contact your insurer to start the claims process.
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