If your car was stolen and recovered, you do have to take it back if your insurer has not paid out the comprehensive insurance claim for it yet. If your insurance company has already paid out the claim for the stolen car, your insurer legally owns the vehicle and will decide what to do with it themselves.
When you accept the claim for a stolen vehicle, you sign over the ownership of the vehicle to your insurance company, so even if you wanted to keep the vehicle, you don’t have any legal right to it after the claim is settled.
However, if your stolen car is recovered but you did not make a claim, either because you do not have comprehensive insurance or you neglected to file the claim, you are fully responsible for the vehicle. In most situations, you can’t refuse to take back your vehicle without it costing a lot of money out of pocket.
What Happens If You Abandon Your Recovered Stolen Car?
If the police find your stolen vehicle and you don’t want to take it back, you could just abandon the vehicle. If a car is abandoned in an impound lot, it will eventually be sold for scrap or sent to auction. However, because the car is still your property, you’ll be responsible for any towing costs, fines, and impound-lot fees the vehicle accrues before then. This will likely be more expensive than it is worth.
To learn more about coverage for stolen vehicles, check out WalletHub’s guide to comprehensive car insurance.
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