Will My Insurance Cover A Replacement If My Car Is Stolen?

Caeva O'Callaghan | August 24th, 2021

Does car insurance cover the cost of a replacement vehicle?

It’s a worst-case scenario – your car is stolen. But will your insurance pay for a replacement?

No. Your car insurance will probably not cover the cost of a replacement vehicle if your car is written off or stolen, but they may arrange for a courtesy car for a few days. This depends on your insurance company.

In this article, we’ll go over the following:

  • Will my insurance cover repairs from a theft?
  • What is new for old car insurance?
  • What should I do if my car is stolen?

If your car is stolen, ultimately it is up to you to arrange and purchase a replacement vehicle. However, there are some instances in which your insurance can help.

Will my insurance cover repairs from a theft?

Yes. If your car is damaged in the process of being stolen, your car insurance provider will pay for repairs once it is recovered.

You should always report a stolen vehicle to the Gardai immediately. They can then start an investigation with the goal of recovering your car safe and sound. However, during the process of being stolen, it’s likely your car suffered some damage.

It may be that the thieves used invasive methods to gain entry to your car – for example, by smashing the window or interfering with the locks. They may have used your car as a getaway, for street racing, or for other nefarious activities, smashing it up in the process. They may have gutted it for parts. And often, vehicle thieves try and dispose of the evidence by setting fire to the vehicle or otherwise destroying it.

Once your car is recovered – and it’s in a repairable state – you should agree with your insurance provider that it is taken to a garage or repair shop that they approve of. If you do so, there will be no excess charged to the repairs of your vehicle.

Not only will they repair your car, but it will be fully cleaned and valeted at no extra cost.

What is new for old car insurance?

New for old car insurance is cover that could offer you a like-for-like replacement car if your vehicle has been stolen, or otherwise written off. If your vehicle qualifies for this policy, your insurance provider will replace it with a vehicle of the same age, mileage, make and model as the original car you bought.

Zurich offer new for old on their comprehensive car insurance. In most cases it costs extra to add this cover to your policy, but if you particularly like your vehicle it can be handy to have as you’re virtually guaranteed to get the same make and model back if someone steals it.

Bear in mind, your car will need to meet certain criteria to qualify for a replacement through your insurance. Usually, your car will need to be less than a year old, and the damage to your car must be considerable enough to warrant a replacement rather than repairs. There’s usually a minimum cost of repairs that your car will need to exceed to trigger a replacement.

Not only that, but some insurance providers may set a mileage limit, meaning that if you’ve driven your vehicle too much you might not be able to replace it.

What should I do if my car is stolen?

Phone the Gardai immediately. Obtain a crime number, and assist with the investigation as much as possible. Their goal will always be to recover your vehicle in the best possible condition, before it’s damaged or destroyed.

Next, tell your insurance. No need to wait for the outcome – keeping them in the loop of what’s happening is a good idea while the situation is ongoing. Don’t worry about costs or claims for now: and rest assured, your no claims bonus will not be affected or reduced if you have a theft claim.

When your car is recovered safe and sound – or not quite like new – it’s time to tell your insurance all about its condition, and enquire about next steps. You may be asked to take it to an approved garage for repairs, or be offered a replacement if you have a new for old policy.

Got more questions about car theft? Give us a call, and we can set you straight when it comes to how you’re covered. Call us anytime Mon-Fri between 8.30am and 5.30pm on 0818 224433 or 042 9359051.

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All Information in this post is accurate as of the date of publishing.