Does liability insurance cover theft? Despite many high-tech automotive advancements, crime in many U.S. cities is still a concern. Learn the answer to this popular question with our informative guide.
What Is Liability Insurance?
Liability insurance is the minimum amount of coverage that each state requires you to carry on your vehicle. This type of premium covers costs resulting from an accident for which you are at fault. The two most common types of liability insurance include:
- Bodily injury: It covers medical bills, lost wages, pain, and suffering of the other driver and passengers.
- Property damage: This coverage repairs or replaces other people’s property damaged during the accident.
Does Auto Insurance Cover a Stolen Car?
WalletHub states that liability insurance does not protect you if someone steals your car. According to Savannah Toyota, the purpose of liability insurance is to pay for any accidental damages that you cause to other people or their property. It also doesn’t cover damage a thief may cause if it’s involved in an accident after being stolen.
Car Theft and Insurance Scenarios
Unfortunately, several scenarios may involve car theft, including:
- Break-in: Per Nationwide, If a break-in damages your car, your comprehensive policy, not your liability insurance, will typically cover any repair or replacement costs, including broken door locks, windows, or a damaged ignition system
- Stolen vehicle: This situation also depends on the type of car insurance you have. If you have comprehensive coverage, your vehicle’s cash value is likely covered.
- Theft of personal items: If a delinquent takes your personal items from inside your car, is it covered by liability insurance? Unfortunately, no. Again, comprehensive auto insurance is the most common type of policy that covers any permanent or pre-installed components of your car. However, even this coverage doesn’t typically cover belongings left inside, such as an iPod or wallet. Your renters or homeowners insurance policy likely covers these items.
What Kind of Insurance Covers Theft?
If you want to protect your car after it’s stolen, opt for comprehensive coverage, according to ValuePenguin. This type of insurance pays most of the costs to repair or replace an automobile that’s damaged or unrecoverable because of theft.
Comprehensive insurance covers incidents that traditional liability or collision policies typically don’t. Since carriers designed liability insurance to satisfy the cost of any damages you cause. It doesn’t insure your vehicle against theft or any other damages caused by others. You can add this coverage to both of these no-fault insurance policies for loads of supplemental protection, like:
- Theft of your vehicle
If you have a comprehensive policy, you’re covered for the theft of your automobile, plus any damage that occurs during a break-in. Most comprehensive policies pay up to your vehicle’s actual cash value (ACV), minus your deductible. If you don’t have comprehensive insurance, you may end up having to replace your vehicle out of pocket.
According to US Insurance Agents, comprehensive coverage is not mandatory in any state. It’s considered an elective, and your agent can add it as a rider or supplemental part of your traditional liability auto policy. In most cases, however, that’s not enough funds to replace your vehicle unless your policy specifically states that it’s written for total replacement value.
What to Do When Someone Steals Your Car
Quickly responding to your car’s theft is crucial for recovering your vehicle. As soon as you realize your car is gone, contact the police. Once you’ve met with an officer and filed a report, you can initiate the claims process by following these steps:
1. File a Police Report
Do your best to file a report to authorities within 24 hours of the theft. The sooner police can begin looking for your missing vehicle, the more likely they are to retrieve it, and the sooner you can start communicating with your insurance agent.
2. File an Insurance Claim
Your insurance provider needs as much information as you can provide to evaluate your claim and determine the amount it will payout. Some carriers allow you to file a claim online or with a mobile app. Remember to have the following information handy when submitting your claim:
- The car’s title
- Location of all keys to the vehicle
- Contact information of everyone with access to the car
- A complete description, including mileage, service records, and upgrade
- Contact information for your lender
- Your car insurance policy number
Your provider may also run a credit check to verify your financial standing. Someone with significant debt who files a stolen vehicle claim may raise questions about insurance fraud.
3. Contact the Lien Holder
If you financed your car or you’re in a lease, notify your bank that the vehicle was stolen as soon as possible. If the police don’t recover your automobile or it’s found totaled, your lender will receive the final insurance settlement. Let them work directly with the car insurance company to expedite your claims process.
4. Get It Inspected
If you’re lucky enough that the police find your stolen car, take it to a body shop and an expert mechanic to have it inspected. Thieves often steal automobiles for parts. Before you get behind the wheel, it’s essential to ensure your vehicle is safe to drive and in good working order.
Does Car Insurance Cover Vandalism?
Comprehensive car insurance will provide coverage in the unfortunate event someone vandalizes your vehicle. Follow these steps immediately following the incident to begin the restoration process:
- Call the police to report the vandalism.
- File a report with the authorities.
- Make a note of all the damages to your car.
- List any stolen items.
- Take pictures of scratches, graffiti, or other damage for documentation.
- Contact your auto insurance company to submit a claim.
Does your liability insurance cover you for theft? No. It doesn’t. Check this out if you need additional information, resources, or guidance on car insurance.
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