If my car gets stolen, will insurance cover it?

Comprehensive car insurance will cover a stolen car. Purchasing a policy with the state minimums alone is not enough to ensure that auto theft will be covered. Car insurance companies will also investigate negligence when you file an insurance claim for a stolen vehicle. If you did not take the proper precautions, like locking your car, your auto insurance may not cover a stolen car.

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Tonya Sisler has a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of South Carolina in Journalism and has worked for 15+ years in management. She has also completed a proofreading certification and is currently a professional writer.

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Brad Larson has been in the insurance industry for more than a dozen years. He started out as a claims adjuster for a national carrier. He has since switched to the agency side of the business. Brad is licensed in all P&C lines.

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Reviewed by Brad Larsen
Licensed Auto Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Oct 27, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • It’s important to know whether your current insurance covers theft if your car is stolen
  • Auto theft is normally not included unless you have comprehensive coverage
  • Purchasing a policy with the state minimums alone is not enough to ensure that auto theft will be covered

Car insurance gives us the assurance that we will be covered in the event of an accident. It also frees us from paying out-of-pocket expenses for accidents. Regardless of fault, car insurance gives us the confidence that we will be taken care of. However, you wrongly assume your current policy covers theft.

Will insurance still cover your vehicle if it’s stolen? The answer to this question depends on the circumstances and your coverage. Don’t be left out in the cold if your vehicle is your stolen. Keep reading for an easy guide on auto insurance basic as it relates to vehicle theft.

Most importantly you need the right coverage, so make sure to comparison shop. Enter your zip code into our FREE tool above to get started!

When Will Car Insurance Cover Theft?


There are some cases when insurance will cover theft of your vehicle. However, there are some additional coverages that you must make sure you have if you expect to be covered for auto theft.

There’s an auto insurance myth that many people believe that the theft of your vehicle is always covered.

But coverage depends on whether or not you have comprehensive coverage in most cases.

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What is comprehensive coverage?

Comprehensive coverage is intended to cover most situations that cause damage or loss to your car. These coverage situations usually involve one of the following:

  • Collision due to an accident
  • Floods or natural disasters
  • Tornadoes, hail damage, and other acts of nature
  • Theft of automobile

Comprehensive coverage is almost always required to have a theft of your vehicle covered.

Keep in mind also that this theft coverage does not include any items that are inside your vehicle at the time of the robbery.

What is negligence as it relates to car theft?


One thing to keep in mind regarding theft coverage is that you should make every attempt to ensure that you are protecting your investment. Car insurance companies require that you agree to use common sense regarding the location of your vehicle and not to subject it to possible theft by carelessness or negligence.

In most cases, if you carry comprehensive insurance, you will be covered in the case of an auto theft. However, you must understand what negligence to ensure you don’t forfeit coverage when caring for your car.

If negligence is shown and a car insurance company wanted to press this point, they may be able to illustrate how you increased the possibility of theft by your actions. While this is rare, in some cases your policy might not pay for auto theft in these cases.

Negligence is defined as behavior that a person or business does that jeopardizes the safety of persons or property due to something that a reasonable person knew or should have known. Some of the situations that might constitute negligence regarding car theft might be any of the following:

  • Leaving your car parked and unlocked in a place known for vandalism or car theft
  • Leaving expensive items in plain sight to passersby that may invite theft of property
  • Leaving your car unattended for long periods of time or at high-theft times or certain locations
  • Leaves car doors open or unattended
  • Leaving keys to your car in places that thieves may discover and utilize to get into your car

It pays to keep the idea of negligence with car theft in mind so that you can avoid having a claim denied due to your negligence on the part of your vehicle.

Common sense actions can reduce this risk, and you can rest assured that, if your car is stolen, despite your best attempt to protect it, that your claim will be paid.

Tips for Avoiding Car Theft


Despite your best attempts to protect your vehicle, sometimes auto thefts do occur. Perhaps you live in a high crime area that is subject to car theft more often than other locations. Perhaps your have a high-profile sports car that is more prone to theft and break-ins than other models.

Preventative Measures

But there are still things that you can do to decrease your chances of auto theft, no matter what make and model you own.

  • Consider purchasing an anti-theft device such as a kill switch or steering wheel lock.
  • Park your car in a well-lit area or garage if leaving it overnight.
  • Consider parking closer to the building you work in if you drive your car to work regularly.
  • Put an anti-theft sticker on your windshield that shows you have an anti-theft device.

Knowing Models Prone to Theft

There are certain types of cars that are more prone to break-in and theft than others. Classy, sports cars, cars with dynamic or vibrant colors or designs, or cars with lots of extras are more likely to be stolen than ordinary-looking cars.

However, another myth is that older cars won’t be stolen. Sometimes people steal a car for purposes of selling parts. Your older car may have hard to come by parts that could fetch a solid payday for a car thief.

Use caution when leaving your car in places that are likely to draw the attention of dishonest people looking to make a quick buck with your vehicle.

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How do I find the best car insurance for my needs?

The best way to make sure you are getting the most for your money regarding your personal car insurance policy is to shop around. Compare the specifics coverage areas point-by-point and side-by-side to ensure that you are getting the right coverage.

Remember that there is no specific amount of insurance that is ideal for every situation. You just need to know your needs as a driver and weigh the amount of risk with the amount you will be paying out in car insurance premiums. Then make a decision based on that.

If you are looking for car insurance that will pay in the case of theft, there are some specific questions you should ask while shopping for insurance that will prove helpful in obtaining the best coverage for your auto insurance needs.

  • Does this policy cover auto theft?
  • What optional coverage amounts should I select to ensure my auto is fully covered for theft or vandalism?
  • Are there any exclusions or limitations regarding my coverage that would not allow my claim to be paid?
  • What do you consider negligent behavior regarding any car theft incident?
  • How much will a theft claim pay?

Compare Rates with Comprehensive Coverage


The key to making sure your car insurance will cover auto theft is to compare and shop policies and insurance plans that offer sound, comprehensive coverage. Comprehensive coverage is what you need to have a car theft covered.

Without it, you may not be eligible to receive any claim money in the event your car is stolen. Never assume that your collision and liability based on state minimums are enough to cover a theft claim. These coverages just do not cover property theft in most cases.

Also, know what limits and exclusions would not apply to your situation and how the company pays their claims. These questions will give you a lot of insight as to how to make sure your claim will be paid.

Also, compare rates until you find the best deal for the money. The best rule of insurance is to buy as much insurance as you can afford.

But if you can’t afford full coverage at least have the minimum. Having some insurance is better than having none, and you don’t want to overextend your budget to where you will be in a position where you cannot pay. You don’t want your policy to be canceled for non-payment.

Make sure your policy covers theft if you have concerns. Start by comparing quotes from several providers. Enter your zip code in our FREE comparison tool to get started!


  1. http://www.investopedia.com/financial-edge/0411/10-car-insurance-myths.aspx
  2. http://carinsurance.about.com/od/CarInsuranceClaims/a/What-Is-Comprehensive-Coverage.htm
  3. http://personalinsure.about.com/od/insurancetermsglossary/g/negligence.htm
  4. http://www.cars.com/go/advice/Story.jsp?section=cd&story=cd_antitheft&subject=cd_theft

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