Will your car insurance cover a stolen car?

Does car insurance cover a stolen car? When your car has been stolen, you’ll be busy trying to recover it and get where you need to go without a vehicle. Rest assured that car insurance does cover a stolen car, but only if you have comprehensive coverage on it. Additionally, if your car is stolen and you still owe money on it, your loan becomes upside down. You can avoid owing the rest of your car loan with GAP coverage.

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UPDATED: Nov 24, 2021

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Overview

  • If your car is stolen, your insurance company can help if you have comprehensive coverage
  • Comprehensive covers your entire vehicle as well as the parts that make it, but not your personal items within
  • If you have no insurance or liability-only, you won’t be able to receive any insurance help
  • If your car is stolen and you owe more than it’s worth, GAP coverage can help you pay off your loan

Theft of any kind can be hard to deal with, but losing your car to thieves is particularly brutal. Cars are typically the most expensive thing a person owns. On top of that, cars are an essential part of life for many – it’s how people get to work or school, pick up their kids, and get where they need to go.

When your car turns up missing, you’ll probably wonder if your insurance will cover it. The answer to that depends on the type of auto insurance you have.

To avoid asking, “Does car insurance cover a stolen car?” you should ensure you have the right type of insurance. If you want to see what quotes might look like for you, enter your ZIP code into our free tool.

Does car insurance cover a stolen car?

Whether you see a payout from your insurance company depends entirely on the type of insurance you have. Liability or collision won’t help you. However, car theft is one of the things comprehensive coverage was built for.

Comprehensive coverage will help you if:

  • someone steals your car
  • there’s damage from a break-in (such as a broken window)
  • someone vandalizes your car

Additionally, everyone has absentminded moments where you accidentally leave your keys in the car or leave the window open. Does insurance cover a stolen car if the keys are left in the vehicle? Usually, yes. Unless the insurance company can specifically prove that you purposefully got your car stolen, comprehensive will cover theft-by-absentmindedness.

Does car insurance cover theft of car parts?

Comprehensive covers your vehicle inside and out, and that includes all the parts that make your car whole. Be it a catalytic converter, tires, batteries, or even a side-view mirror, a comprehensive plan will help you replace your missing part.

However, comprehensive usually only covers the standard factory parts. Upgraded or aftermarket parts aren’t covered unless you notify your insurance about the upgrade. This includes new tires, rims, stereos, or any other customization.

How long does it take for insurance to pay out on a stolen vehicle?

While the exact amount of time you’ll have to wait depends on your insurance, the typical waiting period is 14 to 30 days.

Some companies wrap up the claim after two weeks because it is unlikely that the car will be recovered after the first couple of days. Others hold out in the hope that your vehicle will eventually be returned.

However long you have to wait, most comprehensive plans will provide you with a rental car until you get a new one. Again, each company has a unique set of rental car rules, but it likely won’t leave you stranded.

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What happens when your car is stolen without insurance?

Unfortunately, if you don’t have comprehensive coverage, your insurance company can’t help you.

If you have no insurance and your car is stolen, there is still a chance that you won’t have to buy a new car. The recovery rate of stolen vehicles in America is over 50%.

A confusing aspect of insurance coverage and theft is the personal items in your car. Since comprehensive covers your vehicle, you might assume that it protects your purse, wallet, shopping bags, and other personal items. However, comprehensive does not cover personal items.

It’s actually your homeowners or renters insurance that covers the theft of your personal items, even if the robbery takes place in your vehicle.

What happens if your car is stolen and you still owe money on it?

Owing money on a stolen vehicle makes a bad situation that much worse.

The good news is that you have to carry comprehensive coverage on a new vehicle from a dealership – it won’t sell the car to you otherwise. That means your insurance will cover the car if it’s stolen.

The bad news is that comprehensive coverage only covers the value of the car. If your insurance values your car at $25,000, but you owe $35,000 on your loan, the remaining $10,000 is your responsibility.

GAP coverage makes up the difference between the value of your car and what you owe. However, not many dealerships insist on GAP, so if you want this extra protection, you’ll have to ask. If you’re interested in GAP insurance, many companies will sell you coverage, but Progressive ranks highest amongst them.

Whatever your situation is, it’s vital that you keep paying on your loan even if your car is stolen. Remember, the thieves took your vehicle, not your bills. Skipping a payment only hurts you and jeopardizes your credit.

Find the Best Comprehensive Coverage to Protect Your Car

With a bit of luck, you’ll never have to face the theft of your car. However, if you do, you can protect your vehicle with comprehensive coverage.

When you’re looking for an answer to, “Does car insurance cover a stolen car?” you should shop around for the best rates. If you’re ready to begin, enter your ZIP code into our free tool today.

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