I’m sure you’ve heard of an incident on the news where a car has been stolen, but have you ever wondered what would happen if you got hit by one? How does that work? Does my insurance cover damages to my car if I got hit by a stolen car? Although the chances of this happening are slim, it is important to know if your car would be covered in such a situation.
You’re probably thinking, is the owner of the vehicle liable since their car hit me? Well the answer is no, there is probably no liability for the vehicle’s owner when the damage is caused by unauthorized use, such as a theft. Therefore, the owner’s liability coverage would not apply to the damage to your car, since there is no legal liability on the part of the owner. In a situation like this it is important to know that there are optional coverages available to you.
Even if the thief is identified and insured — which is usually not the case — their insurance would likely not cover the damage, as it likely excludes coverage for unauthorized use of a vehicle not listed on the policy. In a case like this additional coverages like Comprehensive, Uninsured Motorist Property Damage (UMPD), and Collision come into play.
Comprehensive and Collision coverage are optional coverages, but are often required by your lender or leasing company if you finance or lease your car. Comprehensive coverage applies to non-vehicle types of risks, such as hail, flood, collisions with animals and theft. However, since it was not your car that was stolen, it would not apply in this situation. Instead, the collision coverage would apply, covering damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision with another vehicle or object. Fault does not matter where collision coverage is concerned. UMPD coverage could also apply if the thief was uninsured, but this coverage is based on fault and often has a low limit of liability, which might not be enough to fix your car.
Collision and UMPD will often have a deductible, which is a fixed amount of money that you pay before your insurance company’s obligation to pay kicks in.. For example if your deductible was $500 you would pay the first $500 and then your insurance company would cover anything over that amount, up to the limit of liability for that coverage. In the case of collision coverage, the limit is usually the lesser of the cost of repair, the cost of replacement or the actual cash value of your car. Some policies have “caps” on collision recovery, so read your policy carefully. The higher your deductible the less you pay for insurance, but the lower the deductible the less you pay out of pocket if something happens. This is just one more thing to keep in mind when looking into additional coverages.
Although the chances of getting hit by a stolen car are slim, getting hit by someone uninsured is not. Many people drive around uninsured which is another thing to keep in mind when purchasing a policy. It is important to be aware of situations like this, as it is always better to be prepared then to end up in a sticky situation .There are many different types of additional coverages available, including ones that cover bodily injuries as well. Talk to your insurance company and ask questions like these to come up with the best coverage plan for you.
Any other sticky situations that you’re curious about? Comment below — we would love to help!