Car stolen what does insurance cover

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What Does Car Insurance Cover if Your Car is Stolen?

As a car owner, having your vehicle stolen can be a stressful and devastating experience. Not only is there the loss of property, but also the associated financial burden that comes with it. Fortunately, car insurance can help alleviate some of these concerns. However, it can be confusing to know exactly what your insurance policy covers in the event of a theft. In this article, we will provide an overview of what car insurance policies typically cover in the case of a stolen car.

Car stolen what does insurance cover

Understanding Car Insurance Coverage for Stolen Vehicles

Car theft is a common occurrence and can leave car owners wondering about the insurance coverage they have. Insurance policies can vary greatly, and not all policies will offer the same level of coverage in the event of car theft. What exactly does car insurance cover in the event that your car is stolen? The type of coverage offered by your car insurance policy can vary depending on the policy you have and the specific details of the theft. Below are some of the factors that can influence what is covered:

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is the type of policy that typically covers car theft. This coverage is designed to protect against non-collision-related incidents, including theft, vandalism, and natural disasters. If you have this type of policy and your car is stolen, your insurance company will typically reimburse you for the value of your car up to its actual cash value at the time it was stolen, minus your deductible. Actual cash value refers to the value of the car at the time of the theft, not what you paid for it when you purchased it. Deductibles can vary from policy to policy and can range from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars.

Rental Car Coverage

If you have rental car coverage, your insurance policy may cover the cost of a rental car while you wait for a replacement car or while your stolen car is being recovered. This can be a useful feature if you rely heavily on your car for work or other commitments. However, it’s important to note that the amount of coverage can vary, and some policies may have limits on how long you can rent a car.

Personal Belongings

If you had personal belongings in your car at the time it was stolen, your car insurance policy may cover the cost of replacing them. However, there is usually a limit on the amount of coverage provided for personal belongings. For example, some policies may only cover up to $1,000 in personal property. It’s important to note that this coverage typically only applies to items that are permanently installed in the car, such as a stereo or GPS system. Personal items like clothing or a laptop may not be covered, so it’s important to check your policy carefully.

Gap Insurance

If you have financed or leased your car, gap insurance can help cover the difference between the value of your car and the amount you owe on your loan or lease. This can be especially helpful if your car is stolen shortly after purchase when the value is likely to be significantly less than what you paid for it. Gap insurance can also cover the cost of your deductible, which can be a significant expense in the event of a theft.

Coverage Limits

It’s important to note that all insurance policies have coverage limits, which are the maximum amount of money the insurance company will pay out for a specific incident. In the case of a stolen car, the coverage limit is typically the actual cash value of the car at the time it was stolen. This means that if you have a high-end luxury car, for example, your coverage may not be enough to fully cover the cost of the car if it is stolen. It’s important to review your policy carefully and make sure you have adequate coverage for your needs.


It’s also important to be aware of any exclusions in your policy. For example, some policies may not cover theft if the keys were left in the car, or if the car was unlocked at the time it was stolen. Some policies may also exclude coverage for theft that occurs outside of the country or in certain high-risk areas. Make sure you understand any exclusions in your policy to avoid any surprises in the event of a theft.

Police Report

In the event of a stolen car, it’s important to file a police report as soon as possible. Your insurance company will likely require a copy of the report in order to process your claim. In some cases, the police may be able to recover your stolen car, in which case you will still need to file a claim with your insurance company to cover any damage that may have occurred during the theft.


Car theft can be a stressful and costly experience, but having the right car insurance policy can help ease the financial burden. Comprehensive coverage is typically the type of policy that covers car theft, and it can provide reimbursement for the actual cash value of your car at the time it was stolen, minus your deductible. Other features of your policy, such as rental car coverage and personal property coverage, can also be useful in the event of a theft. However, it’s important to review your policy carefully and make sure you have adequate coverage for your needs. By understanding your policy and taking the necessary steps in the event of a theft, you can help protect yourself and your property.


1. What happens if my stolen car is recovered after the insurance payout?

If your stolen car is recovered after your insurance company has paid out for the claim, the insurance company will typically take ownership of the recovered car. You would have the option to buy it back, but in many cases, it might not be financially sensible, particularly if the car was damaged.

2. Will my insurance premium go up if my car is stolen?

Car insurance premiums are determined by a variety of factors, including your personal driving history and the level of risk associated with your vehicle. If your car is stolen, it might signal to your insurance company that your vehicle or the area where you live or work is high-risk, potentially causing your premium to go up. It largely depends on your insurance company and the specifics of your policy.

3. Can my insurance company refuse to pay out for a stolen car?

Insurance companies can deny claims for a number of reasons. For example, if the theft occurred due to negligence on your part, like leaving the keys in the ignition or not locking the car, your claim may be denied. Furthermore, if your insurance policy does not include comprehensive coverage, your insurance company is not obligated to compensate you for the theft.

4. If my car loan is not paid off, who receives the insurance payout after a theft?

If your vehicle is stolen and you still owe money on it, the insurance payout will first go to the lienholder (the bank or financial institution you have the loan with) to pay off the remainder of the loan. If the payout is more than what you owe, you will receive the remaining amount. If the payout is less than what you owe, you would typically be responsible for paying the remainder unless you have gap insurance, which covers this difference.

5. Is it possible to protect my car from being stolen?

While it’s impossible to completely guarantee that your car won’t be stolen, there are steps you can take to decrease the risk. These can include always locking your car and taking the keys with you, parking in well-lit areas, using anti-theft devices, and never leaving valuable items visible in your car.

6. Does car insurance cover a carjacking incident?

Yes, if your car insurance policy includes comprehensive coverage, it generally covers theft, including carjacking incidents. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage to your vehicle that’s not related to a collision, such as theft, vandalism, fire, and certain natural disasters. It’s always important to check your specific policy or consult with your insurance provider for exact details.

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