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Does your car insurance policy cover theft?

Here’s what you need to know to protect your vehicle in case it’s stolen.

Does auto insurance cover theft?  

It depends. Car insurance can cover theft, but not all policies come with this benefit. Coverage options such as Liability insurance, Collision insurance, and UMPD (Uninsured and Underinsured Motorist Coverage) will not cover a stolen car.

Which car insurance coverage will protect a stolen car? 

If you are seeking theft coverage, you must have Comprehensive insurance to be protected. Comprehensive coverage pays for damage resulting from circumstances outside of your control other than a car accident. This could mean anything from flood damage, to hitting a deer, to car theft. 

If your car gets stolen, Comprehensive insurance will help cover the cost of repairs if it’s found damaged or provide money towards a replacement if the vehicle is unrecoverable. The replacement payout would be equivalent to the market value of your stolen vehicle. The market value of your vehicle is what it was worth at the time it was stolen, not what you initially paid for it.

With Comprehensive, you would also need to pay a deductible before your insurance pays out. Let’s say you have a $500 deductible, your car is stolen, and the car insurance company determines that the market value of your vehicle is $3,000. You would first pay your $500 deductible and then your insurance would cover the remaining $2,500. 

If you select a high deductible amount, your insurance bill will be lower. If you opt to pay less, however, your policy will cost more. 

If you are leasing your vehicle, the car company may require Comprehensive since they remain liable for the vehicle until the balance owed is paid in full.

Does full coverage cover theft? 

There is actually no such thing as “full coverage” in the car insurance industry. However, full coverage is most often defined as a combination of Liability insurance, Comprehensive insurance, and Collision insurance. Choosing a coverage combination that includes Comprehensive ensures you will be protected from theft.

How to file an insurance claim for your stolen car 

If someone has stolen your car, it’s in your best interest to file a claim right away. Filing early means you will remember more details surrounding the incident and we will be able to assist you more effectively. Having a car stolen is stressful. At Root, we make the claims process easy. Filing in the app only takes about 3 minutes, and we will be able to begin working on your claim immediately.

Does car insurance cover theft of personal items? 

Car insurance policies will not cover theft of personal items at any level of coverage and you cannot include those items in the claim with your stolen car. Comprehensive insurance will only provide money towards the replacement of your car or help cover any necessary repairs if it’s recovered with damages. So if you happen to leave a purse or laptop in your car and it’s stolen, your car insurance will not cover that loss.

If you have renters insurance or homeowners insurance, those might cover any items stolen from or with your vehicle. 

What if you only have Liability insurance?

Unfortunately, if you have your car stolen and only have Liability insurance, you will be at a loss. A stolen car, for someone without the proper car insurance coverage, could be quite a large expense if the vehicle is recovered with major damage but even more so if the car isn’t recovered at all. Having just the minimum car insurance requirements puts the pressure on you to protect yourself. This could prove to be quite costly in the long run.

At Root, we help good drivers save money by making driving behavior the #1 deciding factor when determining your car insurance rate. This means the safer you are on the road, the more you could save. 

Are car insurance policies that cover theft retroactive? 

You must have the proper coverage prior to needing it. Let’s say your car gets stolen and you have Liability insurance at the time of the theft. Then afterward, you decide to upgrade to Comprehensive car insurance coverage since you learned your current policy didn’t cover theft. 

Your stolen car still wouldn’t be covered. You would only be protected with Comprehensive starting on the day your updated car insurance policy goes into effect. 

Do you have the right auto insurance policy to cover theft? 

At Root, we make insurance simple. You can easily update your coverage right in the app. Ready to see if Root could save you hundreds on car insurance? Get a quote.

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