Does Car Insurance Cover Theft?

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Car theft is one of the worst things that anyone can experience. And since our cars carry our personal belongings too, there’s a risk of break-in too. Whether it is the car itself, just the personal belongings, or both of them that have been stolen, your heart and mind can rest a little easier if you have your own damage cover that insures your vehicle against all kinds of theft. Let’s understand how your car insurance plan will help you come out of this dire situation with different kinds of thefts related to your car and personal belongings with the personal belongings cover and the stolen car cover of comprehensive car insurance plans.

Let Us First Understand Different Kinds of Thefts

When your car is concerned, there are two kinds of thefts you may have to deal with - theft of the vehicle and theft of personal belongings. Personal belongings can be anything that is owned by the policyholders themselves and not borrowed. Anything else is generally considered a borrowed item. Naturally, two different car insurance covers cater to the two kinds of thefts. Stolen cars are often covered under your basic car insurance plan itself. There is no need to buy a separate cover for it. However, personal belongings are not included in basic comprehensive car insurance plans. You need to buy personal belongings cover add-on to cover them.

Types of Covers Available for Theft

Depending on the type of theft, there can be two types of cover a car insurance plan can have – stolen car cover and personal belongings cover. A stolen car cover or car theft cover comes as a part of your comprehensive car insurance plan in most cases. However, a personal belongings cover has to be bought as an add-on in most cases. Some highly comprehensive plans may cover it as a basic benefit. Check out your policy wordings to confirm the same. 

Both these covers can work separately or in combination, depending on the situation at hand. Given below is a brief description for your understanding:

Case 1 – If Your Car Has Been Stolen without any Belongings Inside

If it is the only car that has been stolen and no personal belongings were stolen with it, your insurance plan will reimburse you for the value of the car itself. Here, your stolen car cover will come into effect. Note that you can only claim for things that are owned by you, the policyholder, under your personal belongings cover. 

Case 2 – Car Has Been Stolen with Personal Belongings Inside

The stolen car and personal belongings will be covered separately by the two covers. Your comprehensive car insurance plan will pay for the value of the stolen car, while the personal belongings cover will pay for the stolen belongings. If you do not have an add-on for personal belongings, the insurance provider will not cover them with the stolen vehicle. 

Case 3 – Car Was Broken into and Personal Belongings Were Stolen

If your car was broken into, but only the personal belongings were stolen, your personal belongings cover will cover the cost for you. The damages caused to your car may also be covered by your comprehensive car insurance plan here. However, that highly depends on the flexibility of your coverage and the provider.

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What is Covered for Thefts Under Car Insurance Plans?

Following are the inclusions of a stolen car cover and personal belongings cover in car insurance plans:

Inclusions of Car Theft Cover

There are no specific inclusions for a stolen car cover in a car insurance plan. If your car has been stolen, you simply need to file a report and inform your insurance company about the theft. The police will run the investigation as scheduled and the insurance company will settle the claim after it is closed. The claim payout will be in accordance with the assured sum of the plan as well as the market value of the vehicle. 

Inclusions of Personal Belongings Cover 

Almost all personal belongings owned by the policyholder are covered by the personal belongings covered in a car insurance plan. Some plans may exclude electronic devices from this list. However, you can confirm if your plan includes it by simply reading the policy wordings. Given below are the two scenarios where your personal belongings cover will come into effect:

  • If your personal belongings are stolen with the car itself.
  • If your car was broken into and personal belongings were stolen from a locked car. 

In addition to the personal belongings stolen, the insurance plan may also cover damages caused to your car when it was broken into for the theft. Check out the extent of coverage in your policy documents. 

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What is Not Covered Under Theft Covers?

Since there are two covers dealing with theft in car insurance, two sets of exclusions may apply. Given below are the complete lists for the same:

Exclusions of Stolen Car Cover 

  • If you left your car unlocked overnight.
  • If the door of the car or a window was left open overnight or when the car was stolen.
  • If you had parked the car at an undesignated or prohibited place. 
  • If the car was parked at a place with low security or a completely unsafe location.
  • If the proper line of action was not followed after the theft.
  • If the police, as well as the insurance company, were not informed immediately after the theft of the car.
  • If there is no official complaint filed about the theft. 
  • Items that were stolen but not listed in the police report. 
  • Items that were owned by anyone but the policyholder or the named driver. Generally, this is applicable when the car is being used as a borrowed vehicle. 
  • Any other kind of negligence on the owner’s part, leading to the theft of the car. 

Exclusions of Personal Belongings Cover in Car Insurance Plans

  • If you left your personal belongings in the car overnight.
  • If the windows or doors of the car were left open.
  • Any other kind of negligence on the owner’s part. 
  • If the theft was not registered with the police as an official complaint in time.
  • If the stolen property is not owned by you, the policyholder, i.e., borrowed items. 
  • If the insurance provider was not informed about the theft in time. 
  • Loss or theft of data stored in gadgets and other electrical devices.
  • If business documents or possessions get stolen from your personal car and vice versa.
  • Stolen personal belongings if they are locked in a safety deposit box. 

How to File a Claim for a Stolen Car Against Car Insurance Plan?

Given below are the steps you need to follow in order to file a claim for your stolen car:

  • Contact the police right away as soon as you find out that your car has been stolen. Do not wait to look around to run your own investigation. Informing the police may lead to the safe recovery of your vehicle. And if not, it will help in the easy settlement of the claim. 
  • After you have contacted the police and filed an official report, contact your insurance company. Let them know about the theft and fill out a claim form. The original police report is required when you fill and submit the claim form. So, obtain it from the police when you file the complaint. You can inform the insurance company before the police report arrives, though. 
  • Contact the RTA and get hold of the car registration documents if your original ones got stolen with the car. You will need them to make submissions for your claim. It is also best to inform the transport authorities of the UAE about the theft so that any criminal activity done using the car does not fall on you. 
  • Compile all the documents and submit your claim form. It may take a while for the insurance company to settle stolen car insurance claims. The provider will wait for the police to close the investigation and categorize your car as unrecoverable. Once all the investigations have been closed officially, the claim will be settled as per the current market value of the car. This may take about 2 months or a bit more. 

Documents Required:

  • Copy of the original police report
  • Registration documents of the car 
  • Duly filled claim form
  • A copy of your driving license or permit
  • A copy of your policy documents 
  • The keys of the car – the original set
  • No objection certificate from the financer if the loan for the car is still active
  • No-trace report from the police for the car

How to File a Claim for Stolen Personal Belongings?

Contact the police and let them know about your stolen personal belongings from your car. Make an itemized list of everything that was stolen from the car. Submit that list to the police along with an official report of the theft. 

Call your insurance provider and inform them about the theft. You will need to fill a claim form and submit it with a bunch of important documents. 

Submit all the documents to the insurance company along with a no-trace report from the police. Your claim will be settled as soon as the provider has examined and approved it. 

The same itemized list of everything stolen has to be submitted to the insurance provider as well. Make sure you include everything in this list. Anything that has been left out will not be compensated for. Also, add damages to your vehicle that were sustained during the theft (applicable when the theft was committed by breaking into your vehicle).

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Once the claim has been examined thoroughly and approved, you will receive the reimbursement amount. 

Documents Required:

  • A copy of the police report
  • An itemised list of everything stolen – two copies for the insurer and the police, respectively
  • Properly filled claim form
  • Your driving license and the registration documents of the car
  • A copy of the policy documents 
  • No-trace report from the police

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In a Nutshell

You must have a complete understanding of theft cover and personal belongings cover in car insurance plans by now. However, just because your insurance provider will cover most of the damages you sustained because of the theft doesn’t mean you can afford to be careless with your car. Always make sure that you lock the car properly with all the doors and windows closed. Try not to leave any personal belongings in the car overnight or during the day, especially expensive ones like gadgets and jewellery. Take care of these few precautionary steps, and if you still happen to get robbed of your car, your insurance company will come to your rescue right away.

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