August 17, 2011

Costs To Include In A Car Insurance Theft Claim

Making a car insurance theft claim can be confusing and overwhelming. It's difficult to know what will be covered and what won't be covered, and as many car theft victims discover, there are a few unexpected costs that are likely to arise after a theft that can make a car insurance claim even more complicated.

For instance, drivers will often need to rent a vehicle after a theft while they wait for their car insurance claim to be processed. Car rental is not covered under a standard car insurance policy, but a car insurance company might decide to offer it after a theft as a gesture of goodwill. Many car insurance policies offer rental car reimbursement, and as this coverage only costs a few extra dollars a month, it's a good way to stay on the road while a car insurance theft claim is processed.

If the vehicle is recovered, there's a good chance that it will be towed at some point–many recovered vehicles have damaged steering columns and ignition systems and may be unsafe to drive. Towing is a serious expense, but many car insurance policies don't cover this cost. "Full coverage" policies should cover towing, and policies with special towing coverage add-ons may cover it. Some car insurance companies pay for the cost of towing under comprehensive coverage, so it's always worth submitting towing bills for reimbursement. Drivers should check with their insurance companies before having their cars towed, if possible, to see if the insurance company will cover some or all of the costs of the towing. As towing companies usually refuse to take payments by check or credit card, it's important to get and keep a receipt for the best possible chances of a reimbursement.

A car insurance theft claim falls under a driver's comprehensive car insurance coverage and will result in a total loss payout if the vehicle isn't recovered. This does not include any non-permanent equipment in the vehicle. Items that were left in a car can't be added to a car insurance claim, although they may be covered by a driver's homeowner insurance or renter's insurance. Car insurance companies will only cover actual damage to the vehicle, but this can include sound systems, alarms and other permanently installed equipment. A driver should be honest with his or her car insurance agent and carefully explain everything relevant about a vehicle, including the vehicle's options and features. A car insurance theft claim can be taxing, but by providing information as quickly as possible along with a police report, drivers can receive a fair payout very quickly.