Does Insurance Cover a Stolen Car if Keys Were Left Inside the Vehicle?

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does insurance cover a stolen car if keys were left inside

It’s one of those things that might seem risky, but that most of us do, at least once in a while: leaving the keys inside our car. 

Maybe you’re warming up the vehicle on a cold winter’s day while grabbing your coat and other belongings from inside. Or you just have to dash into the store quickly, so you leave the car running. Perhaps you’re just a trusting soul and toss your keys into the console before visiting a friend. 

What happens if you come back outside — only to find your car gone? Well, guaranteed it’s going to be a hassle!

However, you probably also want to know, does insurance cover stolen car if keys left inside? Let’s take a closer look.

Types of Car Insurance

There are three basic types of car insurance, and your coverage in this unhappy situation will depend on which you have.

  • Liability Insurance is the bare minimum you have to carry. It protects the other party in the event of an accident if you caused the accident or are held responsible for it. Liability covers damages to the other vehicle(s) as well as medical costs, lost wages, and other costs associated with injury as a result of an accident.
  • Collision Insurance, as the name implies, covers the cost of repairs to your car after an accident that is your fault. It will also cover the consequences of a run-in with a tree or a telephone pole.
  • Comprehensive Insurance coverage is another type of protection. This will protect you in the event that your car is damaged by a falling tree, a falling piano, a fire, a flood, or vandalism. It also protects you from essentially any other damage that isn’t caused by a collision, including theft.

Does Insurance Cover Stolen Car If Keys Left Inside?

If you have liability insurance only, no. What about collision insurance? Nope, sorry. You’re out of luck as well. In fact, only comprehensive car insurance will help you out in the event of a stolen car.

There is a silver lining here, however. Comprehensive policies will pay for your stolen car no matter how it got stolen. That means if you inadvertently made it very easy for a would-be thief by leaving the keys inside, you can breathe a sigh of relief.

In the recent years, more and more insurance companies have added an exclusion in the comprehensive coverage part of a personal auto policy that excludes theft due to negligence; i.e. leaving your keys inside your car.  

In any case, it is always best to speak to your auto insurance agent for details.

How Much Will It Pay?

Check your policy, and you’ll likely see that it will pay you the “actual cash value” of the car that has been stolen. Pretty sweet, huh?

Not so fast. Actual cash value doesn’t mean you’ll get back what you paid to the dealer. Rather, you’ll get the car’s value — minus your deductible and depreciation, which means the wear and tear on the car. 

As you probably know, cars depreciate once they’re driven off the lot, so you might not get as much as you’d hoped. Nevertheless, it’s better than what you’d get if you only had collision or liability coverage, which is a big fat nothing.

Need More Insurance Than You Have?

So the answer to “does insurance cover stolen car if keys left?” is yes, but only with comprehensive coverage — not liability or collision. 

Need to get comprehensive coverage on your policy, or any other kind of insurance? Get in touch! We’ll talk to you about your needs and hook you up.

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