What Happens if Your Car Is Stolen Without Insurance?

What Happens if Your Car Is Stolen Without Insurance?

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What Happens if Your Car Is Stolen Without Insurance?

No one wants to have a vehicle stolen, especially if this happens with no witnesses and little to no evidence to indicate who took it and where it might be. Too many people suffer as the victims of stolen vehicles, but if you have insurance in place, this might be one way to recover some compensation. It really depends on the kind of insurance you have. For those whose cars are stolen without insurance, outside of recovering the vehicle with the police or community’s help, there are very few options for getting back your vehicle. Read on to learn more about the role insurance plays in recovery following a vehicle theft.

Living Through Vehicle Theft

It can be devastating to realize that your vehicle has been stolen. Depending on the circumstances of the theft, you may be able to recover this vehicle by reporting it stolen as soon as possible. Neighborhood watches and other community groups may also be able to assist you by keeping an eye out for the vehicle. But the truth is that some people are never able to recover their car after it has been stolen. This can be an especially difficult blow if you rely on your vehicle for day-to-day errands or work, and it can be even more problematic if you don't have insurance in place to help you if your car is stolen. 

When your car is stolen, and you don't have insurance, the first thing you should do is to contact the police. Law enforcement officials are better equipped and trained to manage car theft cases. Prompt action on behalf of law enforcement officers could make it possible to recover your vehicle. Save a copy of the police report and answer any questions that they have. If your vehicle was also still under a loan at the time that it was stolen, you need to contact your loan provider to inform them of the theft. Each of these loan providers may have different policies for how they handle vehicle theft, and it is important to understand their processes and procedures so that you can follow them to the letter. In the meantime, you may need to find alternative transportation while you look for a more permanent solution or wait to hear if your vehicle has been found.

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  • What Does Insurance Cover if Your Vehicle Is Stolen?

    If you only carry basic liability vehicle insurance, then your vehicle insurance will not cover vehicle theft. However, comprehensive coverage, which is available as an option in every state, provides coverage for vehicle theft. There are three primary kinds of car insurance. The first of these is liability coverage, which is required in almost every state and includes property damage, liability coverage, and bodily injury. The primary purpose of liability coverage is to protect other drivers on the road and any property that you may damage in an accident. The second type of car insurance coverage is collision coverage, which covers the expenses of fixing your own vehicle after an accident. 

    Finally, the third type of coverage is comprehensive, which pays for damage to your vehicle unrelated to an accident, such as colliding with an animal, a break-in, vandalism, theft, hail damage, and crashing tree branches. Of these three types of car insurance coverage, only comprehensive coverage covers vehicle theft. The other two types of coverage on their own or combined will not cover vehicle theft. 

    This means that your vehicle theft is not likely to get covered by car insurance if you only carry the bare minimum in your state. You will not receive any reimbursement for your vehicle, and this is why it is so important to report that your car has really been stolen by sharing it with the police and reporting the stolen car to the state's Department of Motor Vehicles. In addition to reporting this to the police, you should also look for your own stolen vehicle. Look for sale websites, such as Craigslist listings in neighboring cities and states. Sometimes thieves will take a vehicle and try to sell it close to your city but just far enough that you may not notice it.

  • What if I Do Have Car Insurance Coverage for My Stolen Vehicle?

    If you have insurance coverage, and your car is recovered at any point during, after, or before the claims process, you need to notify your insurance company immediately. This allows the company to assess the damages. Sometimes, however, if the car was damaged in the process of being stolen, it may be considered a total loss, meaning that your insurance company reimburses you for what is known as the actual cash value of your vehicle. In some cases, however, your vehicle might have sustained only minor damage, meaning that your vehicle can be repaired to make it whole again. 

    Many stolen cars are recovered relatively quickly, particularly in those neighborhoods or communities where people are keeping an eye out. This is why it is so important to take action and to continue looking for your vehicle even if you have notified the police. Notifying the police is an important step to indicate that your vehicle really has been stolen, and it shows your insurance company, if applicable, that you have done your due diligence. It also greatly increases the chances that someone may come across your vehicle. 

    However, failing to carry the right insurance coverage could be very problematic for allowing you to recover any form of financial compensation if your vehicle is stolen. In those situations, if your vehicle is not recovered, you are out of luck in terms of recovering compensation. This can be very problematic for any person who does not have the financial means to immediately acquire a new vehicle. This can also be a very frustrating experience to go through, period.

  • What if I'm Having Problems Dealing With My Insurance Company?

    If you do have insurance coverage on your vehicle and have notified your insurance carrier about the theft, this does not always mean that it will necessarily be easy to work with that company. Insurance companies do not always make things easier, even for their paying customers to get the promised benefits covered under a policy. You need to be prepared to advocate for yourself during this process. If you have problems dealing with your insurance company or believe that they have broken the law in handling your individual situation, you need to share these concerns with an experienced and qualified lawyer. An attorney can help represent your interests and fight as hard as possible for the benefits you deserve.

    Your insurance company has a legal responsibility to provide you with the coverage outlined in your policy so long as you continue to pay on that policy and kept it active. Unfortunately, far too many people realize that it is difficult or impossible to work with your insurance company after a legitimate covered event. You may have tried to communicate with them multiple times and may have provided them with plenty of evidence, such as a police report, but this does not always mean that your insurance carrier will do the necessary steps to cover your claim. You already have enough to deal with in the wake of worrying about a stolen vehicle, especially if it is unlikely that your vehicle will be recovered or if a great deal of time has passed since you reported it stolen. You do not need the additional headache of worrying about an insurance company involved in bad faith practices. If you believe that your insurance company has violated the terms of your policy or the law in dealing with you, you may need to report this to an experienced insurance lawyer to assist you. 

    The lawyers at Morgan & Morgan have stepped in during cases like this for years and are not afraid to hold the insurance companies accountable for their behavior. If you need support with handling your insurance claim or if you simply have questions about whether or not you have legitimate grounds to move forward with a legal case, it is best to sit down with an attorney in an initial consultation to discuss these questions. Contact Morgan & Morgan today for a free, no-obligation case evaluation.

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