Does car insurance cover theft? 

Your car insurance may cover theft, but it depends on the policy you have in place as well as the circumstances around the incident. Car theft insurance is usually covered by fully comprehensive and third-party, fire and theft insurance, but check your policy document to be sure.

5 min read
Man breaking into a car

H2: Insurance types that cover theft 

There are three different types of car insurance you can get. Here is what they are and what they cover: 

  • third-party – the lowest level of insurance, this only covers you for damage caused to other people and their cars and property, so theft isn’t included. 
  • third-party, fire and theft – this covers you for the same as third-party insurance, as well as if your vehicle is set on fire or stolen.  
  • fully comprehensive – the highest insurance level, this covers you for most things that can happen to your car, including theft. 

Note: Although these are the general rules for insurance, exactly what is covered and how, differs between providers. You should always check the terms and conditions carefully before taking out insurance, to avoid any nasty surprises if you have to make a claim.  

What does insurance cover if my car is stolen? 

Again, this will differ slightly between policies. It also depends on what state your car is in if it is found. If your car can’t be recovered or is completely beyond repair, most insurers will offer compensation worth the market value of the car at the time of the theft. If little damage has been done, most insurers will pay for the repairs instead.  

Time also plays a factor. Cars that are found within 7 to 14 days and are relatively intact allow your insurer to settle a claim quickly and easily. Due to the fact that your car could be recovered by the police, most insurers wait 30 days before paying out. 

Items within the car are covered by some insurers but not by others. You typically need to have fully comprehensive cover in order to claim on them. 

Car stolen from driveway – am I covered? 

It depends because claims are looked at on a case-by-case basis. If the car is left unattended with the keys in or nearby, you may not be covered. But if the insurer believes that you left the car in a safe environment, they should pay out.  

If you can, try to keep your car locked in a garage. It’s much less likely to get broken into or stolen than if it’s out on the street. Besides, doing so will also help reduce the price of your car insurance. A win-win situation! 

Does home insurance cover car theft? 

If personal possessions have been stolen, you could claim for those under your home insurance, depending on your policy. Check the terms and conditions, or with your home insurance provider, to be certain. However, you cannot claim for damage to the car itself – that is covered by car insurance.  

There are many providers who offer both car and home insurance. You can often get a pretty good discount by doing both with the same company. It also may make managing your insurance easier due to having a single policy document and payment plan. The downside is that if something happens to your car or your house, the price of all your insurance will probably go up.  

Why could my car insurance claim be denied?  

Unfortunately, you may not always get cover for your car being stolen. There are several reasons why insurance claims are denied, including:

The keys have been left in (or near) the car 

If you leave the keys in or near the car, your insurer will probably state that your car wasn’t left in a safe enough place. This is because it is relatively easy for somebody to steal your car if they have access to your keys. Try and keep your keys in your house, in a place that isn’t easily accessible in case somebody breaks in. 

The car has been left running/unattended 

Leaving your car running and unattended would be considered as neglect by many insurers. You wouldn’t be properly safeguarding your car from being stolen, which could violate the terms of your insurance policy. If you need to leave your car unattended, make sure you turn off the engine and lock it up carefully.  

The doors, roof or windows have been left open

Leaving the windows, doors or roof open while you’re not in the car can provide easy access to somebody looking to steal it. It’s good practice to get into the habit of checking every time you lock up your car, just to make sure you haven’t forgotten to shut a window.  

You didn’t report the stolen car

In order to claim on your insurance if your car is stolen, you have to report the theft to the police. Otherwise, you could void your insurance policy. Besides, filing a police report is the best way of getting your car recovered. It’s a good idea to report it first, then have your crime reference number to hand when you tell your insurance company. This will make the claims process go a lot smoother. 

False information

It’s always best to tell your insurance company (and the police) the truth. If you get found out giving false information, your policy will be invalidated, and you could even get fined by the police. If you are asked a question that you’re not completely sure of the answer to, it’s best to say that you don’t know, rather than just guessing.  

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Disclaimer: All information and links are correct at the time of publishing.