Does Your Car Insurance Cover Theft?

Comprehensive insurance cover provides protection if your car has been stolen or any damage done to your car if it’s broken into.
Insurance cover
Does Your Car Insurance Cover Theft?
Comprehensive insurance cover provides protection if your car has been stolen or any damage done to your car if it's broken into.

In this article

Stolen vehicles are most significantly protected by a comprehensive insurance cover. As long as you have comprehensive coverage, your insurer will cut you a check for the current value of your car if it’s stolen and not recovered. 

The repairs should be covered by comprehensive insurance if your vehicle is recovered but sustained damage while stolen. You would be responsible for your comprehensive deductible in both cases. Beem, America’s first Al-powered Smart Wallet App, is here to resolve all your doubts relating to insurance cover if your car is stolen.

What To Do When Your Car Is Stolen?

The discovery that your car isn’t where you parked it can feel like a real-life nightmare. You should rule out the following possibilities before reporting it was stolen:

  • Did it get towed away because it was parked illegally?
  • Has it been repossessed if you are behind on payments?
  • Do you know if it has been impounded or if it has been claimed by a creditor?

You should file a police report immediately if your car has indeed been stolen. It may be possible for police to retrieve your vehicle if you have a tracking device on it. 

If you have filed a police report, contact your insurer right away to make a claim for car theft.

Your insurance company should be notified immediately if your vehicle has been stolen and recovered. In the event that your car is damaged, your comprehensive coverage may pay for repairs, minus your deductible, up to any limits.

How Comprehensive Insurance Cover Helps?

Among the common misconceptions about auto theft coverage is that it is necessary to have “full coverage” coverage. Although there is no such thing as full coverage insurance, many lenders define it as covering collision and comprehensive coverage. 

Your insurer may allow you to purchase comprehensive coverage separately from collision coverage. Comprehensive coverage generally costs less and provides theft protection.

Comprehensive coverage is highly recommended for your financial protection. Vandalism and glass breakage, which may occur together with theft, are also covered under comprehensive insurance. 

Are Personal Items Covered?

Generally, your auto insurance won’t cover items like laptops, briefcases and cell phones stolen from your vehicle. The theft of personal belongings from a car, however, may be covered by your renters or homeowners insurance, even if the car wasn’t on your property when the theft occurred.

If you choose to purchase electronic device insurance, your stolen cell phone, laptop and other devices will be covered.

What Happens When Your Stolen Car Is Found?

Approximately 34% of cars stolen in the U.S. are recovered, and many of those recovered cars are damaged and missing parts.

Unless your car is worth more than the repair costs – resulting in a total loss – your insurance company will cover the car’s repair costs.

With comprehensive coverage, your insurance company will reimburse you for the cost of repairs, minus your deductible, if your car needs to be repaired. You will receive the actual cash value minus the deductible if the insurance company decides the car is not worth saving.

Note that in the event that your vehicle is recovered after your insurance company has settled your claim, your insurance company is likely to take ownership of your vehicle. Insurance companies handle claims on case-by-case basis, so if you didn’t buy a replacement vehicle, you might have to return the claim amount.

Custom Parts And Equipment (CPE) Coverage

Upgrades to your vehicle are protected by custom parts and equipment coverage. 

Over a certain amount, most auto policies will not cover the replacement or repair of aftermarket, custom parts or modifications to your vehicle. A custom parts and equipment (CPE) policy, available at most insurers for an additional charge, can cover stolen parts and equipment. In case your newly purchased 24-inch rims are stolen, you would likely need CPE coverage to protect them.

Gap Coverage

In the event that your car is stolen, you will receive the vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV) less your deductible. It is possible that the ACV amount would not be sufficient to cover your loan due to factors like interest and depreciation. 

Consider gap coverage if your balance owed exceeds the value of your vehicle. This can cover a percentage of the difference between your balance owed and the ACV. 

Does Liability Insurance Cover Theft Of Car?

Liability insurance does not cover your stolen car. Liability insurance covers when you cause bodily injury or property damage to another person. But, it will not provide coverage if your vehicle has been stolen. 

You won’t be protected from theft either with collision coverage. You can only get comprehensive coverage if your vehicle is stolen or damaged as a result of a break-in or theft.

Anti-Theft Discounts

Vehicles equipped with manual alarms or passive tracking devices can qualify for discounts from some insurers. Having your vehicle identification number engraved on the glass of your car’s windows or doors may even get you a discount. 

In some states, insurers offer a discount for anti-theft devices. The requirements for eligibility vary from state to state, but comprehensive coverage is required.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Does my car insurance cover me if I leave the engine running?

Yes, of course. Comprehensive insurance cover generally pays for the replacement of your car if it’s stolen, regardless of whether you leave the car running or leave the keys inside.

Are items left in my car covered by my car insurance?

If you have left items inside your car and it is stolen, comprehensive car insurance may not cover them. Fortunately, most home and renters insurance policies cover these losses regardless of whether the items were stolen inside the house.

My car was stolen, but I left the keys inside. Does insurance cover this?

Yes, as long as you have comprehensive coverage on your car, you’re covered no matter what the circumstances of the theft are. That includes situations where you walked away with the door unlocked and left the keys in the ignition.

Are stolen catalytic converters covered by car insurance?

Yes, comprehensive coverage should cover theft of your catalytic converter if you have it on your car. A car that only has the minimum insurance coverage won’t be covered for theft and will have to be replaced and repaired on your own.


Ensure to shop around for the best comprehensive coverage and other types of auto insurance cover. You should compare car insurance quotes from at least three companies, according to the Insurance Information Institute. Consider coverage options, price, the insurer’s reputation and the insurer’s financial health before making your purchase decision.

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Team Beem

Team Beem

Team Beem brings you the latest in the world of personal finance to you. From tips and tricks on how to manage money to how to get cash for emergencies, Beem is your destination for all the information you need to be smart about your money.

This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

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