Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft?

Auto insurance is an essential safeguard that provides financial protection in the event of accidents, damages, and unforeseen incidents. But does auto insurance cover theft? This comprehensive article delves into the intricacies of auto insurance policies concerning theft incidents. We will explore the ins and outs of coverage, potential exclusions, and essential considerations to maximize your protection.


Auto Insurance Coverage

Before delving into theft coverage, it’s essential to understand the different types of auto insurance coverage available in the market. Each type of coverage serves a specific purpose, and together, they provide comprehensive protection for policyholders. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Read More: What is Auto Insurance? Benefits, How It Works, Coverage Types & Costs

Types of Auto Insurance Coverage

Liability Coverage

Liability coverage is the basic insurance that covers damages caused by you to others in an accident. It does not cover theft of your vehicle.

Collision Coverage

Collision coverage If your car is damaged in an accident with another vehicle or object, collision coverage can assist with the cost of repairs. However, it does not typically cover theft.

Comprehensive Coverage

Comprehensive coverage is what most car owners rely on for protection against theft. This coverage helps pay for damages to your vehicle caused by events other than collisions, including theft, vandalism, natural disasters, and more.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage protects you if you are involved in an accident with a driver who does not have insurance or has insufficient coverage. It does not cover theft.

Personal Injury Protection (PIP) Coverage

Personal Injury Protection Coverage covers medical expenses and, in some cases, lost wages for you and your passengers in the event of an accident. It does not cover theft. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft?

Auto insurance policies typically offer coverage for theft incidents under certain circumstances. However, it’s crucial to understand the specifics of your policy, as not all plans provide comprehensive coverage for theft. Most standard auto insurance policies include theft protection as part of their comprehensive coverage, also known as “other than collision” coverage. This means that if your vehicle is stolen, you could be eligible for reimbursement, subject to policy terms and conditions. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Comprehensive Coverage and Theft

Comprehensive coverage is an essential component of auto insurance that protects against non-collision incidents, including theft, vandalism, fire, natural disasters, and more. If your car is stolen, comprehensive coverage can help you recover the actual cash value of your vehicle, minus the deductible.

Comprehensive coverage is not mandatory in all states, but it is highly recommended for drivers who want extensive protection beyond basic liability insurance. While it may increase your premium slightly, the added peace of mind is invaluable, especially considering the rising number of auto thefts in recent years. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Read More: What is Comprehensive Auto Insurance? How It Work?

Theft Prevention and Auto Insurance

Insurance companies appreciate policyholders who take measures to reduce the risk of theft. In some cases, insurers might offer premium discounts to individuals who install anti-theft devices, such as car alarms or GPS trackers. These security measures not only minimize the chances of theft but also positively impact insurance rates. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

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Reporting the Theft to Authorities and Insurer

In the unfortunate event of theft, it’s crucial to take immediate action. First, report the theft to the local authorities and provide them with all necessary details. Then, inform your insurance company about the incident promptly. Insurance companies usually have specific procedures and timeframes for reporting theft, so be sure to adhere to their guidelines.

Read More: Collision Auto Insurance: An Essential Primer

Replacing Stolen Items

If your car is stolen and personal belongings inside it are also taken, they may be covered under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy. In such cases, file a claim with the respective insurance company to recover the value of the stolen items. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Read More: Who Has the Cheapest Auto Insurance?

What is Typically Excluded from Theft Coverage?

While comprehensive coverage generally includes theft protection, there are some situations where your auto insurance may not cover theft-related incidents fully. It’s essential to review your policy carefully and be aware of potential exclusions such as:

Vehicle Age Limitations

One common exclusion found in auto theft coverage is the limitation based on the age of the insured vehicle. Insurance providers may set specific age limits beyond which the vehicle is no longer eligible for auto theft coverage. This restriction aims to mitigate risks associated with older vehicles that might be more susceptible to theft.

Failure to Secure the Vehicle

An important aspect that might lead to exclusion from auto theft coverage is the failure to take reasonable precautions in securing the vehicle. If it is determined that the car owner left the vehicle unlocked or with the keys inside, the insurer may refuse to cover any theft-related losses.

Non-OEM Security Systems

While installing anti-theft security systems can help reduce the risk of theft, some auto insurance policies may specify the use of Original Equipment Manufacturer (OEM) security systems only. If the car owner installs a non-OEM security system and experiences theft, the insurer might exclude coverage for such incidents. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Commercial Use Exclusion

Personal auto insurance policies may not cover theft incidents that occur while the insured vehicle is being used for commercial purposes. If you use your personal car for business activities and it gets stolen during such use, the theft coverage might be excluded. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Delay in Reporting Theft

Timely reporting of a stolen vehicle is crucial for insurance claims. If the car owner delays reporting the theft to the police and insurance provider, it may lead to the exclusion of coverage for the theft event.

Policy Lapses and Non-Payment

If the policyholder fails to pay the premiums on time or the policy lapses due to non-payment, the auto theft coverage becomes invalid. To ensure continuous coverage, it is essential to pay the premiums promptly.

Excluded Drivers

Auto theft coverage might be excluded if the vehicle is stolen while someone not listed on the policy was driving. It’s vital to ensure that only authorized drivers use the insured vehicle to avoid potential exclusions.

Acts of Fraud

Intentional acts of fraud or misrepresentation related to the theft claim could result in exclusion from auto theft coverage. Insurance providers thoroughly investigate theft claims to prevent fraudulent activities. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

War and Civil Unrest

Certain insurance policies may exclude coverage for vehicle theft that occurs during times of war or civil unrest. These situations are considered high-risk, and insurance companies may not provide coverage during such events.

Damage During Theft

While auto theft coverage protects against the theft of the vehicle itself, it may not cover damages that occur during the theft. For instance, if the thief damages the car while stealing it, the repair costs might not be covered under theft coverage. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Remember, always be honest with your insurer and avoid any actions that could jeopardize your claim. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

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Assessing Your Deductible

When you file a theft claim with your insurance company, you’ll typically need to pay a deductible. A deductible is the amount you’re responsible for before your insurance coverage kicks in. For instance, if your car’s actual cash value is $15,000, and you have a $500 deductible, your insurance company will reimburse you $14,500 for the stolen vehicle.

Keep in mind that higher deductibles often result in lower premiums, but they also mean you’ll pay more out of pocket in the event of a claim. Determine the deductible that best suits your financial situation and level of risk tolerance. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Read More: What are Different Types of Costs in the Insurance Process?

Protecting Your Vehicle from Theft

Preventing theft is always preferable to dealing with the aftermath. Here are some suggestions for protecting your car:

Install Anti-Theft Devices

Investing in anti-theft devices like steering wheel locks, car alarms, and GPS tracking systems can deter thieves and potentially lower your insurance premiums. Consider adding alarms, steering wheel locks, or tracking devices to deter thieves. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Park in Safe and Well-Lit Areas

Parking your car in well-lit and secure areas decreases the chances of theft and increases the chances of witnesses in case of any suspicious activities. Whenever possible, park your car in well-lit areas and secure parking lots. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Do Not Leave Valuables in the Car

Avoid leaving valuables in plain sight, as they may attract unwanted attention. Leaving valuables visible in your car can attract thieves. Always secure your belongings and avoid leaving them in the vehicle. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Keep Your Car Locked

It may sound obvious, but many thefts occur due to unlocked vehicles. Always remember to lock your car when leaving it unattended. Always lock your car, even if you’re only stepping away for a brief moment.

Garage Parking

If available, park your car in a locked garage overnight. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Read More: What is the Differences Between Rejected Claims and Denied Claims?

What to Do If Your Car is Stolen

If your car is stolen, follow these steps to increase the chances of a successful recovery:

Contact the Police: Report the theft to your local law enforcement immediately.

Notify Your Insurance Company: Inform your insurer about the theft as soon as possible to initiate the claims process.

Provide Documentation: Be prepared to provide your policy details, police report, and any other relevant documents.

Cooperate with the Investigation: Work closely with the police and your insurer to aid in the investigation.

Rental Car Coverage: Check if your policy includes rental car coverage, which can provide a temporary replacement vehicle.

Stay Informed: Stay in touch with your insurance company for updates on your claim and the recovery process. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

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Tips for Filing a Theft Claim

Gather Evidence and Documentation

When filing a theft claim with your insurance company, it’s essential to have all the necessary evidence and documentation. This includes the police report detailing the theft, any photographs of the stolen vehicle, and receipts for any anti-theft devices installed in your car. Providing comprehensive information can expedite the claims process and increase the likelihood of a successful claim. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Cooperate with the Insurance Company

During the claims process, be cooperative and responsive to any inquiries from your insurance company. They may need additional information to assess your claim fully. Promptly provide any requested documents or statements to ensure a smooth process.

Understand Your Coverage Limits

Review your policy to understand the coverage limits for theft claims. Your insurance company will reimburse you up to the policy’s maximum amount, minus any deductible you must pay. Knowing these details beforehand can help manage your expectations and financial responsibilities. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Keep a Record of Expenses

If you incur any expenses related to the theft, such as towing fees or transportation costs while your vehicle is being replaced, keep a detailed record of these expenses. Depending on your policy, some of these costs may be eligible for reimbursement. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

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Factors Affecting Auto Theft Coverage

Several factors can influence the extent of your auto theft coverage.

 Vehicle Security

The level of security features in your car, such as alarms, immobilizers, and tracking systems, can impact the cost of your insurance and the likelihood of theft. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Location and Risk Factors

The area where you live and park your car can affect the risk of theft. Insurance companies consider the crime rate in your location when determining coverage.

Policy Coverage Limits

The coverage limit you choose for comprehensive coverage will determine the maximum amount you can receive in case of theft. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

FAQs About Auto Insurance Theft Coverage 

Is Auto Theft Covered by Liability Insurance?

No, auto theft is typically not covered by liability insurance. Liability insurance only covers damages you may cause to others in an accident. To protect against theft, you need comprehensive coverage.

How Can I Lower My Comprehensive Coverage Premium?

You can lower your comprehensive coverage premium by choosing a higher deductible, maintaining a good driving record, and installing anti-theft devices on your vehicle.

Will I Be Reimbursed for Aftermarket Upgrades Stolen with My Car?

In most cases, standard comprehensive coverage only reimburses for factory-installed features. However, you can purchase additional coverage for aftermarket upgrades. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

How Long Will It Take to Settle My Theft Claim?

The time to settle a theft claim varies depending on the circumstances and the insurance company’s processes. It can take anywhere from a few days to several weeks.

Can I Cancel Comprehensive Coverage After My Car is Stolen?

While you can cancel your comprehensive coverage at any time, it’s not advisable to do so after your car is stolen, as it won’t retroactively cover the theft incident. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Will I Get a Replacement Car If Mine is Stolen?

If your policy includes rental car coverage, your insurance company may provide a rental vehicle while your claim is being processed or until you purchase a replacement car.

Is filing a theft claim time-sensitive?

Yes, it’s crucial to report the theft to the police and your insurance company as soon as possible after the incident.

Can I file a theft claim if I don’t have comprehensive coverage?

No, theft claims are generally covered under comprehensive coverage, so having this policy is necessary to claim for theft.

Will filing a theft claim affect my no-claims bonus?

Depending on your insurance provider and policy, filing a theft claim may impact your no-claims bonus. Check with your insurer for specific details. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Are stolen aftermarket parts covered by insurance?

It depends on your policy. Some insurance companies offer coverage for aftermarket parts, but others may require separate coverage.

Can I cancel my insurance policy after a theft claim?

You can choose to cancel your policy after a theft claim; however, it’s advisable to discuss your options with your insurance provider first.


Auto insurance coverage for theft is an essential aspect of protecting your vehicle and your finances. Understanding the specifics of your policy, including coverage limits and deductibles, is crucial to ensure you’re adequately protected in case of theft. Additionally, taking preventive measures to reduce the risk of theft can go a long way in safeguarding your vehicle. (Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft)

Remember to always read and comprehend the terms of your policy, and if you ever face the unfortunate event of car theft, act promptly by reporting the incident to the police and notifying your insurance company. By staying informed and proactive, you can navigate the process smoothly and minimize potential losses.

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