How Comprehensive Insurance Covers a Stolen Car
Comprehensive coverage has two important pieces to understand: deductible and coverage limit. Your deductible is the amount you’ll pay out of pocket towards a covered claim before your insurance company steps in. This is an amount you’ll select when you purchase coverage. Your coverage limit is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay toward a covered claim. Usually your coverage limit for comprehensive coverage is the depreciated value of your vehicle — otherwise known as actual cash value of your car.
For example, say your vehicle has a depreciated value of $12,000 and you have a $1,000 comprehensive coverage deductible. Your vehicle is stolen, so you file a policy report and then file a claim with your insurance company. If your claim is covered, you’ll get a check for $11,000 — which is the actual cash value of your vehicle ($12,000) minus the deductible ($1,000).
Does Car Insurance Cover Theft of Personal Property?
Your car policy will cover up to $200 in personal property. If you have more valuable items in your vehicle, your homeowners or renters insurance may step in after the deductible.
How Can I Prevent Auto Theft?
Of course, the best way to deal with auto theft is to avoid it. Use the following tips to help you prevent car theft:
Lock your doors and take the keys. A quick run into the store can be all the time a thief needs to steal your vehicle. Even warming your unlocked car in front of your home in the winter can be an invitation. Use extra precaution and always lock your vehicle and keep the keys with you.
Pay attention to parking. Take a good look around you and make sure you’re in a well-lit area that has a lot of foot traffic so your vehicle is not an appealing target. Paying a couple dollars more to park in a secure parking ramp versus a dark street may be worth it in the long run.
Hide your valuables. Leaving your purse, wallet, CDs, iPod and other valuable items out in the open might be all the encouragement a passing thief needs. Locking items in the trunk and glovebox is a good way to keep them at hand but not in sight. If you don’t have a trunk, even a blanket draped over your purse can be a deterrent.
Anti-theft devices work. Whether you’re relying on the good, old-fashioned steering wheel club or a more tech-savvy approach, just having one makes your vehicle less attractive to thieves.
Connect with your American Family insurance agent to make sure you have the right coverage in place to protect your vehicle from theft. And if you do face a vehicle theft, your agent is there to guide you through the process and help you with your insurance claims.