Comprehensive auto insurance coverage typically covers theft, as well as other non-collision related damage to your vehicle. This type of coverage is often referred to as “other than collision” coverage, and it provides protection for your car in the event of theft, vandalism, fire, or weather-related damage. With comprehensive coverage, your insurance company will pay for the cost of repairing or replacing your car up to the policy limits, minus any deductible that you are responsible for paying. It’s important to note that comprehensive coverage is typically an optional add-on to your car insurance policy, so be sure to check with your insurance provider to confirm whether or not you have this coverage.
Does car insurance cover theft if I leave the engine on?
In general, if you leave the engine running and your car is stolen, your insurance policy may not cover the loss. Most insurance policies have exclusions for theft that occurs when the keys are left in the vehicle or the engine is left running. This is because leaving your car running or the keys in the ignition can be seen as negligence, which could make it difficult to file a successful claim.
It’s important to always turn off your car and remove the keys, even if you’re just running a quick errand or waiting in the car. This can help reduce the risk of theft and ensure that you are covered by your insurance policy if your car is stolen. If you have any questions about what is covered by your car insurance policy, be sure to check with your insurance provider.
What to do when your car is stolen
If your car is stolen, here are the steps you should take:
- Contact the police: As soon as you realize your car is missing, call the police and file a report. Provide as much detail as possible, including the make and model of the car, license plate number, and any unique characteristics or personal belongings that may be in the car.
- Contact your insurance company: Notify your insurance company as soon as possible to report the theft. They will ask for a copy of the police report and any other relevant information. Be sure to ask about the specific coverage and benefits provided by your policy, including any deductibles or limits.
- Check with local impound lots: Sometimes, vehicles are towed or impounded for various reasons, so check with local impound lots to make sure your car hasn’t been taken there.
- Notify your lender: If you have a car loan or lease, notify the lender or leasing company as soon as possible to inform them of the theft.
- Monitor your credit reports: If you had any personal information, such as your driver’s license, registration, or insurance documents, in the car at the time it was stolen, monitor your credit reports for any suspicious activity.
It’s important to act quickly if your car is stolen, as time is of the essence in recovering your vehicle or filing an insurance claim. Be sure to keep track of all your conversations and correspondence with the police and your insurance company, and provide them with any additional information or documentation they may need.
How much will my stolen car payout be?
The amount of payout you receive from your insurance company for a stolen car in Ontario will depend on several factors, including the value of your car, the type of insurance coverage you have, and the deductible on your policy.
If you have comprehensive insurance coverage, which is the coverage that typically covers theft, your insurance company will pay you up to the actual cash value of your vehicle, minus any deductible that you are responsible for paying. The actual cash value of your car is the amount it would have been worth on the open market immediately prior to the theft. This amount can vary depending on the age, make, model, and condition of your car.
In addition to the actual cash value of the car, your insurance policy may also cover the cost of any personal belongings that were in the car at the time it was stolen, up to a certain limit. Be sure to check your policy for the specific coverage and benefits that apply to your situation.
It’s important to note that the payout you receive may be less than the amount you owe on your car loan or lease, so you may still be responsible for paying the remaining balance.
What happens if my car is recovered?
If your car is recovered after it has been stolen, the next steps will depend on the condition of the vehicle and the terms of your insurance policy.
If your car is recovered in good condition and there is no significant damage, you may be able to continue driving it as before. You will still need to file a claim with your insurance company to report the theft and any damage that may have occurred while the car was missing. Your insurance company will likely send an adjuster to inspect the car and determine the cost of any necessary repairs.
If your car is recovered with significant damage, your insurance company may declare it a total loss, depending on the cost of repairs compared to the value of the car. In this case, your insurance company will provide you with a payout based on the actual cash value of the car, minus any deductible. If you have a car loan or lease, you will still be responsible for paying the remaining balance on the loan or lease.
If your car is recovered after the insurance company has already paid out for the theft, the insurance company may take possession of the car and try to recoup some of their losses through salvage value.
It’s important to stay in close contact with your insurance company throughout the process and to follow their instructions for filing a claim and providing any necessary documentation.
Here’s an example:
Let’s say you have a car that is worth $20,000 and you have comprehensive insurance coverage with a $500 deductible. If your car is stolen and later recovered with no damage, your insurance company will pay you up to the actual cash value of the car, which in this case is $20,000. You will be responsible for paying the $500 deductible, so you will receive a payout of $19,500.
If your car is recovered with significant damage that exceeds the cost of repairs compared to the value of the car, your insurance company may declare it a total loss. Let’s say that the cost of repairs is estimated to be $15,000, but the actual cash value of the car is only $10,000. In this case, your insurance company may decide to declare it a total loss and provide you with a payout of $10,000, minus your $500 deductible, for a total payout of $9,500. If you have a car loan or lease, you will still be responsible for paying the remaining balance on the loan or lease.