Yes! If you have comprehensive coverage on your policy, auto insurance can help pay for your stolen vehicle if it is not recovered. Depending on your policy, you may also be covered for custom parts, paint, rims, and other aftermarket additions. Personal property (cell phones, laptops, tools, etc.) stolen out of your car won’t be covered by auto insurance, but you’ll likely be protected under a home, renters, or condo policy.
How your insurer covers car theft
Stolen vehicles are covered by comprehensive
If someone steals your wheels and it is not recovered, your insurer will cut you a check for the market value of your car if you have comprehensive coverage. If your vehicle is recovered and damaged, the repairs should be covered by your insurer. A deductible may apply in either situation.
A common misconception is that you must carry “full coverage” in order to be insured against auto theft. Some people define “full coverage” as including both comprehensive and collision on your policy. However, comprehensive coverage can be purchased separately from collision and usually costs less.
Comprehensive coverage is highly recommended for your protection in case your vehicle is stolen. Plus, comprehensive also covers vandalism and glass breakage—which are two incidents that sometimes coincide with theft.
Vehicle upgrades are protected with custom parts and equipment coverage
Custom parts and equipment (CPE) coverage—available at Progressive and most insurers for an added cost—covers custom paint jobs and grilles, navigation systems, car stereo upgrades, and anything else that the original manufacturer did not install. CPE coverage also applies in instances where the parts or equipment were stolen, but the vehicle was not.
Most auto policies will not cover aftermarket, custom parts and modifications to your vehicle over a certain amount. For instance, if your newly-added 24-inch rims are stolen, you’ll usually need CPE coverage to insure them.
Gap coverage: For loan and lease payoffs
If your car is stolen, your insurer will pay you the actual cash value (ACV) of the vehicle minus your deductible. The ACV is the market value for your car based on pre-loss condition, age, options, mileage, etc. In some cases, the amount won’t be enough to pay off your loan or lease. If you owe more on your vehicle loan than what it’s worth, consider purchasing gap coverage, which can cover a percentage of the difference between the balance owed and the ACV.
Personal Property: For stuff kept in your car
Items stolen out of your vehicle, like a laptop, briefcase, or phone are not covered under your auto insurance. You’ll need a homeowners, renters, or condo policy to protect any belongings stolen out of your car.
Pro tips for dealing with auto theft
It can feel like a real-life nightmare when you discover your car is not where you parked it. It’s important to keep a clear head and consider whether something else happened.
- Was it parked illegally and towed away?
- If you’re behind on payments, was it repossessed?
- Call the police to find out if it was impounded or claimed by a creditor. If it wasn’t, immediately report the vehicle as stolen. Keep in mind that vehicles with tracking devices may help police recover your car.
- Finally, contact your insurance company right away to file a car theft claim.
Some insurers offer discounts for vehicles with manual and passive alarms or tracking devices. You may even earn a discount if your car’s vehicle identification number is engraved on the window or door glass. Progressive offers an anti-theft discount in some states. The qualifications will vary by state and may require comprehensive coverage.
For the best rates and the best coverage, call our local team of expert agents. We appreciate the opportunity to quote your policy and earn your business.