Does car insurance cover theft?


My car was stolen from my apartment parking lot. Does my car insurance policy cover theft?

Whether or not your car insurance covers theft of the vehicle depends on which coverages you purchased from your insurance company. Theft of the vehicle is a covered 'peril' or loss as long as you purchased comprehensive or Other Than Collision coverage. This is the same coverage that protects you if your car is damaged in a hail storm or by fire.

If your current car insurance policy shows a premium charged for OTC coverage (this used to be called 'comprehensive' or 'comp' coverage, but it's not truly comprehensive coverage as there are some exclusions), then you have coverage. You will have a deductible, or out-of-pocket payment, that must be paid before a claim is paid, and this can be anywhere from $100 to $1,000 or more depending on how you insured your vehicle.

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There will most likely be an investigation by the insurance company and your local police department to locate your stolen vehicle. If your vehicle is not located, then you claim will likely be paid less your deductible.

The insurance company will pay you market value for your vehicle, but it may not be the amount you hoped to receive. If you had custom wheels, custom audio or video, custom paint or other aftermarket add-ons, you may not receive reimbursement for those unless you obtained coverage specificially for them on your policy. Most car insurance policies protect your vehicle at market value, so any additional custom equipment must be insured in addition to the base policy.

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