Cars are expensive, and mostly for the right reasons. It is something you use for commuting, for traveling, making it a necessity in many cases. But another reason why cars are expensive is that they have expensive parts. Thieves have no honor, and they are always on the lookout for anything to steal.
In 2020, more than eight hundred thousand cars were stolen in the US. Car theft is more common than you think. But most of the cars are usually recovered. This is why thieves have turned to something much more effective; stealing car parts.
While stealing cars is a difficult task, especially with the security features cars come with, thieves are now turning to steal important components of the cars. If you keep your car out in the open, then this might be the right time to consider getting auto insurance if you haven’t got it already.
Out of all the parts, there is one that’s favorite amongst car thieves; catalytic converters. There are many reasons why the catalytic converter in your car could be something a car thief tries to steal. Those reasons will be discussed later.
But before that, let’s take a look at how you can save yourself from spending thousands of dollars if the catalytic converter of your car, or any part of your car for that matter, is stolen.
Car Insurance for Theft
There are many auto insurance policies that you can get. No single policy covers everything. There’s liability insurance that covers the cost of car repairs and medical treatments of the other driver involved in an accident you caused. This auto insurance policy is mandatory in almost every state.
Then there are many states that require drivers to have a personal injury protection plan and uninsured motorist coverage to legally drive a car. But getting all these policies does not mean they cover car theft.
Car theft is covered only under comprehensive coverage, an optional policy. Comprehensive policy covers not only car theft, but also damages due to riots, vandalism, and projectiles. It also covers damages due to natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, fires, hurricanes, etc.
Comprehensive coverage covers the entire car theft. So in case your car gets stolen, you can claim this policy and the insurance company will reimburse you. Do note that you will not get the amount that you paid when buying the car.
Car insurance companies will give you the actual cash value of the car, instead of the MSRP. This actual cash value is determined based on the condition of the car, and the current market value. You can always negotiate a higher price if you think your car is worth more than what the insurer is offering.
What About Catalytic Converters?
Comprehensive coverage covers car theft, but what if you kept your car in the parking lot and someone stole the catalytic converter? Would that be covered by comprehensive insurance?
Yes, almost every auto insurance company will cover any stolen parts of your car. Catalytic converters are one of the most common parts that are stolen, and insurance companies know this. Catalytic converters are quite expensive, costing anywhere between $500 to even $1,500 depending on the make and model of the car.
Here’s something to keep in mind; if your car’s catalytic converter is stolen, you need to have some proper documentation. Firstly, you need to have an official police report of the theft. This means that you need to report the theft to the authorities. Without this, your claim won’t be processed.
Secondly, some insurance companies also require you to get your car checked by one of their approved car mechanics to ensure that the catalytic converter was indeed stolen. After every detail has been checked and documents submitted, the insurance company will process the claims.
All About Catalytic Converters
Why are catalytic converters stolen? It’s not like they are a crucial part of the car. So why do thieves go through such trouble just to steal a small part of your car? It is not about what the catalytic converter does, but more about what it has.
Catalytic converters are used to make your car run smoother, with better fuel efficiency and less pollution. It helps your engine run better, and cars all over the world are required to install this to prevent pollution.
Catalytic converters have some expensive metals in them, most commonly palladium, platinum, and even gold. So the importance and value of catalytic converters can be understood. Thieves can extract these metals and sell them for a high price.
But what happens if your car is without a catalytic converter? Cars can run fine without it, but fuel efficiency will take a dip, and pollution emissions will rise. It also depends on the type of car and the model you are driving. Some cars rely more on these converters than others.
Why Insurance Rates Rise?
Getting your car’s catalytic converter stolen is not your fault. Not just that, but there is no one who wants to get their car stolen. So why do car insurance companies penalize the policyholder, and in case of theft, the victim by raising the price of insurance premium rates?
Reporting an accident or making an insurance claim will increase your insurance rates and premium prices. There are some exceptions. For example, if you get in an accident and the accident is the other driver’s fault, claiming the other driver’s liability insurance will not increase your insurance rates.
But with every other car insurance policy such as collision insurance, comprehensive insurance, your own liability insurance, etc, claiming the policy will result in price hike. This happens because the insurance company needs to minimize risk and maximize income.
This is the reason why these companies ask every detail about your driving history, past insurance claim, locality where you live, age, gender, etc. All these factors are used to calculate the risk associated with the policyholder.
Making an insurance claim makes you more likely to get in another accident, at least statistically. This is why companies are very cautious of insurance claims. Insurance claims are considered as a price factor universally. This means that if you make a claim, every company will charge you inflated rates.
Insurance Rates After Claim
Making an insurance claim after your car is stolen, or even if a part of the car is stolen will increase your insurance and premium rates. This is because making a claim makes you a high-risk individual and insurance companies need to make up for the losses due to the claim.
This is why it is very important that you choose the right car insurance provider, one that offers the lowest rates and the lowest price hikes. Search for the most affordable and preferred car insurance companies in your state.
For example, if you live in Indiana, look for indiana auto insurance quote online, compare the options and select the best option available. Just make sure that you give price and coverage equal importance.
Do not go for the cheapest option without looking thoroughly at the coverage, and reviews. Make sure you choose the best company for the price you are paying. In conclusion, your insurance company will pay for the replacement of catalytic converters if it gets stolen and you have comprehensive coverage.