Does My Insurance Cover a Stolen Car?

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When will my car insurance cover a stolen car?
How much of my stolen car will my insurance cover?
How much do I have to pay if my stolen car is not entirely covered?
If basic car insurance doesn't cover a stolen car, what will?
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When will my car insurance cover a stolen car? 

I was on vacation and while I was out of town someone stole my car. I've never had my car stolen before, so I am not even sure where to start. My first thought went to my insurance, but will my insurance even cover a stolen car? 

Your car insurance will cover a stolen car if you have purchased other than collision insurance.

Other than collision insurance, also known as comprehensive insurance, is not included in your basic insurance policy, it's an add-on. However, if you purchased it, then your policy will eventually pay you the actual cash value of your car, minus your deductible. 

Your other than collision insurance will also provide you with a limited amount of money per day for a replacement vehicle until they pay you for your stolen vehicle. However, this doesn't kick in until 48 hours after your vehicle has been stolen, because most vehicles are never found again after the 48-hour window. 

How much of my stolen car will my insurance cover? 

My car is only a couple years old and it was recently stolen. They never found the car and now my insurance is going to pay me for it. How much money can I actually expect to get from my insurance for my stolen car? 

Once your insurance has determined that your car was in fact stolen and it's never coming back, they will pay you the actual cash value of your car minus your deductible.

The cash value of your car is determined based on the market value of cars that are similar to yours located within a certain distance of your area. They'll not only look at similar vehicles, but similar mileage as well. 

Let's say you drive a 2005 Subaru Outback and it's stolen. Your insurance company will look at the average value of Subaru Outbacks within 60 miles of your location with mileage similar to yours to determine the cash value. The interesting thing about this tactic is that it makes certain cars more valuable in specific areas. Let's take the Subaru Outback. If you own a Subaru Outback and you live in Lake Tahoe, you're going to get much more money for it than if you live in Southern California, because the demand for that vehicle is higher in mountain regions where you need all-wheel drive.

It's also important to note that your deductible will be deducted from your payout. Deductibles range anywhere from several hundred to several thousand dollars. 

How much do I have to pay if my stolen car is not entirely covered? 

My car was stolen and my insurance company said they will be providing me with a daily amount to put towards a temporary vehicle. I'm also going to have to buy a new car, so I'm trying to determine how much I have to pay if my stolen car is not completely covered by my insurance.

If you have other than collision insurance, then your stolen car will be fully covered by your insurance, so you won't have to pay anything extra for your vehicle. Depending on the type of vehicle you buy next, you may owe more if you decide to purchase something that's higher than what your insurance pays you for your stolen vehicle.

However, when it comes to the daily replacement vehicle cost, you will have to pay the remaining amount on a replacement vehicle if it's more than your insurance limit. Your insurance may pay $30 a day for a replacement vehicle, and a rental car may cost $60 a day. You'd be responsible for the extra $30 a day on the rental for as long as you rented it.

If basic car insurance doesn't cover a stolen car, what will? 

My friend's car was stolen right outside his house while he was sleeping. He told me that his insurance did not cover the vehicle and now he's out a car and a lot of money. It got me wondering, if basic insurance doesn't cover a stolen car, what will? 

Comprehensive insurance, or other than collision insurance, will cover you if your vehicle is stolen. Even though it's not mandatory insurance, it's one I always recommend because it covers a wide variety of potential scenarios. 

Sure, the likelihood of your car being stolen is pretty low. However, other than collision insurance covers you if you are in any type of accident or scenario that is not a collision. Here are some examples:

  • Theft: Covers replacement if your car gets jacked.
  • Vandalism: Covers repairs if your car is the target of graffiti, keying or other nasty pranks.
  • Flood: Covers repair and replacement if your car is underwater so your finances don’t have to be.
  • Fire: Covers repair and replacement if your car burns up on its own or if it’s damaged by wildfires, house fires and other red-hot emergencies.
  • Severe weather: In case of hail, tornadoes, hurricanes and other natural disasters.
  • Animal accidents: Covers repair and replacement if you hit a deer, skunk, cow or another critter.
  • Riot: In case your car is the one that angry sports fans decide to flip over and jump up and down on.
  • Glass breakage: Covers repairs to your windshield and windows in case of damage.

So is other than collision insurance worth it? I think so, but you can talk with your independent insurance agent to learn more and see if it's a good fit for you. 

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