Can Theft Be Covered by Car Insurance?

Car insurance is one of the main costs of owning a car. While some drivers may not like paying for insurance, when something does happen, car insurance can pay some dividends. Most drivers may file an insurance claim in a car accident. However, many individuals will have their car stolen and may wonder if their car insurance covers that too. Here’s a look at if car theft is covered by car insurance.

Car theft can be an awful event for drivers 

A man breaking into a parked car at night.
A man breaking into a parked car at night | Getty Images

There are many types of car theft. Some are more dangerous than others. This is especially true during a carjacking attempt, as the thieves could potentially threaten the driver and passengers with a weapon of some sort. That being said, not all car thefts are as dramatic and scary. Often, folks will simply wake up and find their car stolen.

No matter how a car is stolen, it can still lead to many problems for others. Since American society is dependent on cars, many people need their cars for work. If their car is stolen, they may have limited options for going to work, which can have additional impacts on their life. Not only that, but many stolen cars are never recovered, so if there’s something special or sentimental about the car, it’s likely gone for good.

And unlike a car accident, it may not be immediately apparent what the car owner should do, as there’s no one to exchange insurance info with. The good news is that many car insurance policies will cover a stolen car.

Car insurance can cover car theft, but only if you have the right policy

According to Erie Insurance, car theft is considered a non-collision event. As such, policies such as collision coverage or liability coverage won’t cover car theft, but a comprehensive policy will. That said, comprehensive coverage isn’t required for everyone. For folks who own their car entirely, comprehensive coverage is usually an optional policy that some folks don’t choose to get in an effort to cut costs. 

However, folks who are paying their car loan may have been required by their lender to get comprehensive coverage. If this policy covers your car and gets stolen, it will treat your car as a total loss. The insurance company will likely pay you the market value of your car, and it won’t be the price you paid for it. The payout will factor in depreciation losses and the deductible you’ll have to pay.

It’s essential to protect your car from theft

Coverage against car theft is one step of the equation and can help folks bounce back after the event. That said, it’s also essential to take precautions before a theft even happens in the first place. There are many ways to make your car either hard to steal or unattractive to steal. Most thieves are not looking to try very hard, so they’ll often go for the easiest targets. 

As such, precautions that make your car a difficult target can pay big dividends. For example, thieves don’t like cars with many stickers, as those stickers make it easy to identify the car. There are other simple steps that folks can take that won’t cost anything. Since thieves are looking for an easy target, simply making sure that your car is locked and that there aren’t any keys in the car might be enough.

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