Having a vehicle stolen not only is an inconvenience, it presents a huge financial burden if you don't have the right type of auto insurance. Liability coverage alone won't protect you in cases of theft. However, comprehensive insurance pays for claims on stolen vehicles.
Go Beyond the Law
Insure.com reports that car owners mistakenly believe basic insurance coverage comes with theft benefits. However, liability benefits are all that most states require you to carry. Liability insurance only covers your obligation to pay for damages or injuries to other people injured in an accident. To gain protection for events like theft or vandalism, you must go beyond state minimums on insurance.
In addition to liability insurance, car owners have the option to purchase collision and comprehensive benefits. While collision pays for accident-related vehicle damage, it is comprehensive that insures you against many types of non-collision events, including theft. If your car is stolen and you have comprehensive protection, you have a remedy for damages or replacement.
Using Your Coverage
Before contacting your insurance provider, insurance companies advise customers to call the police. The sooner you report details about the theft, the more opportunity the police have to investigate and find the car. Also, insurance companies need a copy of a police report to process a claim on a stolen vehicle. Calling your lender, when applicable, can expedite the processing of working through your claim. If the car is damaged, your benefits pay for repairs, minus any deductible. You also may have rental car benefits that keep you on the road while the insurance company waits for things to get sorted out.
Calling the police protects you against potential liability risks as well. If your stolen vehicle contributes to personal injury or property damage, your police report is your safety net against personal responsibility.
Insure.com indicated that rental car coverage for a stolen car normally is available for $1 to $2 per month in additional insurance premiums.