If you’re dealing with the aftermath of having your car stolen, you may be wondering, “Now that my car has been stolen, will my insurance go up?” There are many factors to consider when contemplating this situation. One thing is for sure; you’ll need comprehensive coverage to cover the loss of your vehicle due to theft. Let’s explore what you’ll need to do and how your insurance will react when your car is stolen.
What Insurance Covers Auto Theft?
Unfortunately, auto theft doesn’t fall under the scope of coverage that comes with legal minimum car insurance policies. These basic car insurance policies typically only cover liability. Liability insurance is the coverage that pays for others’ injuries or property damage in a car accident you cause. You’ll need to purchase additional insurance for a stolen vehicle to have coverage under your car insurance policy. The additional insurance in question is comprehensive coverage.
Comprehensive coverage helps pay for damages or losses that don’t involve a collision, except for hitting an animal such as a deer while driving. Claims you can make against your comprehensive coverage include:
- Weather-related events including flooding and hail
- Falling objects, such as tree branches
- Auto theft
The cost of comprehensive insurance coverage depends on your insurance provider, and though it isn’t required by law, lien holders may require you to have it. This is to ensure that the lien holder’s investment is protected and, in turn, protects your investment in the vehicle as well.
If My Car Has Been Stolen, Will My Insurance Go Up?
Determining whether your insurance premiums will increase after your car is stolen depends on what type of policy you have.
If you only have the legal minimum car insurance requirements for your state, your insurance provider will not cover a stolen vehicle, and your insurance premiums will not be affected. If this is the case, paying off an existing auto loan for the vehicle and the cost of replacing your car will be your sole responsibility.
If you have comprehensive coverage and your vehicle is stolen, you’ll need to file a claim against your policy to have your insurance provider cover the loss. Generally speaking, filing any type of claim against your car insurance (with the exception of a windshield claim in applicable states) will increase your premiums. So, filing an auto theft claim will most likely cause your insurance to go up, but this will ultimately depend on your insurance provider’s policies.
That being said, there’s a chance that your insurance premiums may not be affected by filing a claim, but this is likely tied to factors such as which company you use and how long you’ve been insured there. When purchasing comprehensive coverage, it’s a good idea to ask your insurance provider if your premiums will go up if you have to file an auto theft claim.
What If My Car Is Stolen?
There are several things for you to do in the unfortunate circumstance that your vehicle is stolen:
Report your car as stolen
Contact the police, so you can file a stolen vehicle report. Your insurance provider will require the number issued with the report.
File a claim with your insurance provider
If you have comprehensive coverage included in your policy, contact your insurance provider and file a claim. You must provide the following information:
- Your car insurance policy number
- A police report number
- A certificate of title
- Details of your vehicle, including options, mileage, upgrades, and service records
- Details of the incident, including an estimated time and date when the theft occurred and photos you may have of where the incident occurred
- A list of any personal property that may have been in the vehicle
- The name of any lien holders, their contact information, and your account number
Your insurance provider may also request additional information.
Contact your renters or homeowners insurance provider
If your stolen vehicle has personal property inside, they’re covered by your renters or homeowners insurance under the personal property section of the policy.
Prepare to pay your comprehensive coverage deductible
To file a claim against your comprehensive coverage, you must pay your set deductible. This is the deductible you agreed on with your insurance provider when purchasing the coverage.
What if My Stolen Car Is Recovered?
In some cases, stolen vehicles are recovered and returned to their owners. If this happens to you, you can expect several outcomes, depending on the situation. First, if your car is recovered, your auto insurance provider will thoroughly inspect the vehicle for damages. If the damages are repairable, your comprehensive coverage will cover the repairs up to its limits.
If your car is deemed not repairable upon its recovery, your comprehensive coverage will pay you the actual cash value of your vehicle after your deductible. If you were compensated before the recovery of the vehicle, your insurance provider may choose to take ownership of the car to help them recover their costs. They may instead require you to return the payout you received through your comprehensive coverage, however. If your vehicle is returned to you, you should inspect it for any signs of damage or for items you find inside that aren’t yours.
Car theft is an unfortunate event that happens more than you might think, with auto theft rates increasing yearly. Taking specific steps will help reduce the risk of your vehicle becoming another statistic. If you don’t have comprehensive coverage and worry that your car might be a target for theft, you may want to contact your insurance provider for more information.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.