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Does Car Insurance Cover Theft?

Updated: April 2018

Car insurance may help cover certain types of theft. If you have comprehensive coverage on your policy, it helps pay to:

  • Replace your car if it's stolen
  • Replace certain car parts that are stolen
  • Repair damage to your car from a theft or break-in

Car insurance does not cover theft of your personal belongings, such as your phone, laptop or other valuables, from your vehicle.

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What Is Comprehensive Coverage?

Comprehensive helps cover theft or damage to your car not caused by a collision. Commonly covered perils include vandalism, falling objects (such as hail or a tree branch) or water damage. Coverage typically includes theft of the car itself and theft of car parts.

Comprehensive coverage is typically required by your lender if you're leasing or financing your vehicle. Otherwise, if you own your car outright, comprehensive coverage is optional.

How Does Comprehensive Coverage on a Stolen Car Work?

Comprehensive coverage has a deductible and a coverage limit. A deductible is the amount you pay out of pocket toward a covered claim. You select your deductible — for example, $500 — when you purchase comprehensive coverage. A coverage limit is the maximum amount your policy will pay toward a covered claim. The coverage limit for comprehensive coverage is typically your vehicle's depreciated value (also called actual cash value).

So, let's say you have comprehensive coverage with a $500 deductible on your car. Your car is several model years old, and its depreciated value is $8,000. If your car is stolen, you would file a police report, then file a car insurance claim. For a covered claim, your insurer would cut you a check for $7,500 (the actual cash value minus your deductible), to help you replace your stolen vehicle.

Does Car Insurance Cover Stolen Car Parts?

Comprehensive coverage helps pay to replace stolen car parts and helps pay to repair damage done to your car by thieves, up to your coverage limit and minus your deductible. Comprehensive coverage typically does not apply to custom parts or equipment you've installed on your vehicle, such as a high-tech sound system. You may be able to purchase additional coverage for custom parts.

Additionally, your coverage may specify how it will replace parts — whether it's with original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts or aftermarket parts. Also, keep in mind that your coverage may factor deprecation into the cost of replacing stolen parts on your car. Read your policy and talk with your agent so you understand how your coverage works.

Is Catalytic Converter Theft Covered By Insurance?

Car insurance may help cover catalytic converter theft if you have comprehensive coverage on your policy. Comprehensive coverage may help pay to replace your catalytic converter and repair damage done by a thief, up to the coverage limits stated in your policy, and minus your deductible.

A catalytic converter helps reduce pollutants and noise from a vehicle's exhaust system, according to Angie's List, and thieves can quickly remove one from a car with just a wrench or saw. According to a report from the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB), converters contain metals like platinum and palladium that can be sold to recyclers for a profit. The NICB notes that thieves often do a fair amount of damage to other parts of the vehicle in the process of removing the catalytic converter. Comprehensive coverage may also help repair that damage.

Read more: Catalytic Converter Theft: Help Protect Your Vehicle

Does Car Insurance Cover Theft of Personal Items?

Car insurance does not cover theft of your personal items from your vehicle. But, the personal property coverage in a homeowners, renters or condo insurance policy helps cover your belongings, even when they're away from your place. Personal property coverage has a deductible and a coverage limit. In fact, your policy may even state that coverage limits for your personal property are lower when they're away from your place. This is sometimes referred to as "off-premises coverage." Read your policy or ask your agent so you know how much coverage you have for your stuff while it's in your car.

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This content is for informational purposes only and may not be applicable to all situations.

Coverage subject to terms, conditions, and availability. Policy issuance is subject to qualifications. Allstate Insurance Company, Allstate Indemnity Company, Allstate Fire and Casualty Insurance Company, Allstate Property and Casualty Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL. © 2019 Allstate Insurance Company, Northbrook, IL.
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