Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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Reviewed by Jeffrey Johnson
Insurance Lawyer

UPDATED: Jul 14, 2021

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In a nutshell...

  • It’s important to choose the right type of car insurance coverage
  • If your car is stolen, you need to have enough coverage to cover the cost of replacement or rental
  • Always check with your local insurance commission for which type of insurance is best for you

If you purchased comprehensive coverage when you bought your car insurance policy, chances are it will cover a stolen car. Being able to recover from a stolen car is difficult enough to handle, not knowing if you will be compensated for the loss, is even worse.

You need to know the terms of your car insurance policy before something bad happens. If you do not make the right choices, you may wind up with a financial drain you never saw coming.

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How do I find out what kind of coverage I have?

The first step is to go online to your car insurance website and log into your account. If you do not have an online account, start one immediately.

You can also contact your car insurance provider over the telephone, but unless you know the insurance terms, you may be a little confused. Educate yourself first.

You will need to purchase comprehensive coverage to protect your vehicle from theft. This type of coverage is specific to damage and loss.

If you did not choose comprehensive coverage, (not required in many states unless you are leasing or financing your vehicle) you may be stuck with every cost associated with repairing or replacing your vehicle.

This should be considered very carefully since many stolen cars are not recovered.

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Will my premium increase tremendously?

Your choices dictate your premium. Comprehensive coverage is available in limited, medium, and high levels, each having its own monetary value.

Many banks and loan companies will increase your financial obligations to them if you do not select comprehensive coverage when you initially acquire car insurance.

Leased/financed vehicles should opt for medium to high-level coverage. Make sure you are not paying additional fees.

If you own your vehicle or it is a bit older, consider the cost to repair or replace and choose your level accordingly. It may not make sense to add comprehensive coverage to an extremely old care unless it is a classic model type.

How will I know how much comprehensive coverage is needed for my vehicle?

A good way to gauge how much coverage you will need his to think first of the age of the vehicle. Older, non-financed, or leased cars will not require a huge amount of comprehensive coverage.

Remember, the primary function of comprehensive coverage is to reimburse you for damages.

Older cars have depreciated in value far more than newer models. If you want to keep your rates low, elect a limited amount of comprehensive coverage.

Is comprehensive car insurance coverage mandatory for everyone?

Comprehensive coverage is required for leased and financed vehicles. When you purchase a new car, they must know the level of your comprehensive coverage immediately.

If your insurance company discovers that you have not selected an appropriate amount, they can contact you directly or inform the financial institution that carries the loan on the car.

Make sure your car is really totaled. Some repair shops may report a car as being totaled because they do not want to complete extensive bodywork or electrical problems.

To them, it is easier to write the vehicle off as not repairable. Before you take the next step towards the appeal process, verify that your vehicle is no longer safe to drive or the repair costs are close to the total value of the car.

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How can I receive an independent vehicle appraisal?

If you find that your insurance company is not placing the proper value on your car, you can get your own appraisal.

These are especially handy in the appeals process. Independent appraisers will offer you a fair market price for your vehicle based on appearance, damage level, and the current automotive trends.

In times like these, vandalism is running rampant and you need to protect your valuables, this includes your most important method of transportation.

When your car is stolen, it is already an inconvenience, but if you are not covered by your current auto insurance policy, it can be pricey too.

Be safe and smart. Check the level of your coverage and if you need to, step up a few levels, do it before it is too late.

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