Will car insurance cover me if my car is stolen?

There’s an important question you have to ask yourself when you’re thinking about your car insurance. What do you want your insurance to cover if something happens to your vehicle? (For example, if you’re in a car accident. If a tree falls on your car. If your car is stolen.) Chances are you’d want it to cover everything – especially theft, which is a huge loss since your car is kind of…gone. So that begs another question:  will car insurance cover you if your car is stolen?

It’s a good question. We’ll explain when car insurance covers theft and how to make sure you’re covered.

Will car insurance cover me if my car is stolen?

Well, it depends on your coverage.

If you only carry liability insurance (bodily injury and property damage), your car will not be covered for theft. So, if a car thief swipes your ride, you’d be on your own to deal with the loss. Liability insurance covers your legal obligation to another driver if you’re at fault in an accident. It will pay for their medical expenses, lost wages, and car repairs.

So, that’s why you might want to consider getting more than the state minimum level of insurance. Many states only require drivers to carry liability insurance, which, as we just explained, will not cover you if your car is stolen.

But how can you make sure that your car is covered against theft?

You need comprehensive car coverage.

Comprehensive car insurance will help you cover the expenses of repairing or replacing your car if it’s damaged by something other than an accident (collision coverage will help repair your car after an accident.) Comprehensive coverage will protect your car against losses like fire, vandalism, animal strikes, and falling objects (like hostile trees.)

It will also protect you against theft. So, if you’ve purchased comprehensive insurance for your vehicle, your car should be covered if it’s stolen. Of course, it’s always essential that you read through your policy carefully so you know exactly what is and is not covered.

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Collision and comprehensive coverage and your lender.

If you’ve taken out a loan to pay for your car, chances are that your lender will require you to carry collision and comprehensive coverage. They have a vested interest in your vehicle, after all. Their money is invested in the car, so they want to make sure they get their money back if something happens to the car, whether it’s an accident or a theft.

So, keep that in mind – even if your state doesn’t require you to carry collision and comprehensive insurance, your lender very well might. And it’s probably best to keep your lender happy.

Are my personal belongings also covered if they’re stolen, too?

What if you had stuff in the car when it was stolen? Would those be covered, too?

Here’s the deal:

Your personal belongings won’t be covered under your car insurance policy. They may, however, be covered by your home insurance or renters insurance. So, if your fancy new laptop, expensive sneakers, and designer briefcase happened to be in the trunk when the car was stolen, not all hope is lost. You may be covered by your home insurance if your personal belongings protection follows your possessions. But again, you have to check your specific policy to make sure this is the case. Making assumptions about your insurance coverage can lead to problems.

What if I get the car back but it’s damaged?

If you do get the car back, chances are the thief will not have left it in the same condition. Should the car be recovered to you, damages caused by the thief should be covered under comprehensive.

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Though no one wants to think about their car getting stolen and experiencing that gut-wrenching panic, it’s important to be prepared with the right coverage. Comprehensive coverage will protect you if your car is stolen. If you only carry liability insurance, you won’t be covered. Talk to your agent to find out about your specific insurance policy and spare yourself the devastation of finding out that theft isn’t covered after your car is stolen.

Do you want to save money on your car insurance? Our agents are professionals at helping drivers shop for their rates so they can compare prices and save money. You can get in touch with us by filling out our quote form or giving us a call.