How long does it take for insurance to pay out on a stolen vehicle

Not all insurance policies cover stolen carsWhether your insurer covers stolen vehicles will depend on the type of car insurance policy you have.Usually, you'll only be covered for

How long does it take for insurance to pay out on a stolen vehicle

Not all insurance policies cover stolen cars

Whether your insurer covers stolen vehicles will depend on the type of car insurance policy you have.

Usually, you'll only be covered for theft if you have a fully comprehensive policy or third-party, fire and theft insurance.

Third-party insurance alone won't cover you if your car is stolen because it only insures against injury or damage that you cause to other people's cars.

Insurance claims for stolen cars

The claims process for stolen cars varies depending on whether your car is found or not.

Claims for cars that are found

You'll need to tell your insurer straight away if your car's been found.

They'll need to know whether the car has been damaged, used to commit a crime or is unsafe to drive.

The police will arrange for your car to be recovered and you may have to pay a fee of around £150, which can usually be claimed back from your insurance.

After your car is recovered the PNC database will be updated to show that your car was stolen and found.

Your car will also be logged on the Motor Insurance Anti-Fraud and Theft Register (MIAFTR) which holds records of all the cars in the UK that have been written-off or stolen.

Insurance companies might look at this when calculating how much you should pay for a car policy in the future.

Claims tend to be settled quickly if your car is found within 7-14 days and there's little damage to your vehicle.

Claims for cars that are not found or extremely damaged

Your car could be written-off by your insurer if it isn't found within 30 days or it's found with serious damage that isn't worth repairing.

There are 4 different types of write-offs:

For each one, you'll be offered the market value of your car at the time it was stolen.

Usually, insurers minus an insurance excess from the final payout as well. (The excess is a sum of money you have to pay when you make an insurance claim.)

For vehicles in categories B, S and N, you'll also have the option to buy back some or all of the car from your insurer.

Your car will also be registered on the MIAFTR which could affect how much insurers charge you for a car policy in the future.

Claims for stolen cars won't stay on your record forever

All car insurance claims are added to the Claims and Underwriting Exchange (CUE), which is a big record of every single car claim made in the UK.

When you get a car insurance quote your insurer will also ask lots of questions about your driving history, including any accidents you've had and the claims you've made.

They'll use this information, along with other details, to work out the price of your policy.

Technically claims never disappear from your record but insurers usually only ask for claims made within the last 5 years.

This means that claims and accidents from more than 5 years ago won't affect the cost of your policy.

It can vary though, and some insurance companies ask for your claims history for up to the last 10 years.

You need to be honest about your claims history as your insurers can check the CUE and might cancel your policy if you've lied.

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