Most auto insurance policies issued in the United States only provide the basic minimum level of coverage. However, the constant worry of vehicle theft, particularly for drivers living in areas with high crime rates, means that the need for additional insurance cover often becomes necessary.
Every major insurer will offer a variety of add-ons to a standard policy although these will inevitably result in further expense for the policyholder. One of these add-ons is OTC coverage (other than collision) and in most circumstances, protection from theft will be included unless otherwise specified in the terms and conditions stated on insurance documentation.
Before purchasing additional cover, consumers are advised to make an accurate assessment of the vehicle they own and a decision should be reached on the cost-effective impact of theft coverage. If a motorist owns a vehicle with a value of just a few hundred dollars, the extra cost of additional insurance cover might actually outweigh any potential settlement figure during the period that a policy is in force. However, a motorist owning a new or nearly-new vehicle would definitely be advised to purchase theft coverage, particularly if the vehicle still has outstanding loans secured against it.
If a vehicle is actually stolen, it is vital that motorists contact the police immediately. It is also imperative that the insurance company is contacted at the earliest available opportunity. Insurance carriers usually specify a set period of time for a vehicle to be recovered and if this doesn’t happen, a settlement will be made. In circumstances where the vehicle is found with extensive damage, an insurer will either pay for repairs or provide a settlement based on the vehicle being a total loss.