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What Happens When Your Car Is Stolen And Then Found?

Last modified: Sep 29, 2022

What happens when your car is stolen and then found? This article will explore what happens when your stolen car is found. Spoiler alert: it's not always good news.

What Happens When Your Car Is Stolen and Then Found?

Here, we'll talk about the possible scenarios of what to do if your car is stolen and then found: 

What to Do if You Find Your Car Somewhere

If you locate your stolen vehicle, you must notify the police, your insurance provider, and your lender. The insurance company will want to know whether or not you claimed the automobile since they may still be investigating whether or not you were provided a new car. If you do not notify your insurance company promptly and they have already paid your claim, they will become the car’s registered owner.   

What Happens if the Police Finds Your Car

In this case, the police will contact you (the registered owner) or the insurance company in case they're the owner now. The police department will keep your car in their impound lot until you claim it.  

What if the Car Has Been Abandoned

When police discover an abandoned car, they usually analyze it to identify the culprit. The police will also investigate any missing items in the car reported by the owner. The vehicle can be dusted for fingerprints, and any item discovered that does not belong to the owner can be used as evidence

What if the Car Has Been Damaged

If your vehicle is stolen and later discovered to be damaged in an accident or robbed, the police will seize it. If the car causes damage to another person's property, the insurance might protect the car owner against such claims.  

Related : 10 Common Reasons Why Car Insurance Claims Are Denied

What if the Insurance Paid for Your Stolen Car and It Is Now Found?  

If the insurance company paid for your stolen car, they now own it and can sell it if it is in good condition.

However, the insurance company will usually not change the title of the car to their name. This is often done to save money and to avoid the stress of transferring ownership of a car that may never be found.

If the police recover your stolen car, they will notify the registered owner, not the insurance company (because, in this case, they didn't claim it). If you don't tell your insurance company or try to put the car back on insurance, they may not know it has been found.  

Can I Reject My Stolen Recovered Car? 

If your car was stolen and recovered, you might wonder if you can simply reject it and get a new one. Unfortunately, the answer is not always clear-cut. 

If the stolen car is recovered, you can choose to either keep it or not. It depends on your insurance coverage. If the car has fixable minor damage, the insurance company will be informed. If they think it's not worth giving you a new car, then you won't get one.   

What Happens if You Don't Show Up to Claim It?

The police will seize your stolen vehicle and have the tow operator take ownership of it. If you do not show up to claim the automobile, you are responsible for the storage fees. After the tow firm sells the car and the sales revenue does not cover the storage debt, you are on the hook for paying off any remaining costs.     

Your Stolen Car Can Be Involved in an Accident

If you reported the car as stolen, and it was later involved in an accident affecting other people's properties, you are not liable for the damages if the suspect is not found. Additionally, your insurer will deal with any claims made against you. 

However, the police will require proof that you were not driving the car. They will look for evidence to identify the driver, but your insurance may still cover the accident.

If you can't prove that you were not the driver when the accident happened, you may be liable for the damages, and your insurance policy may not cover you.

Bottom Line

So, what happens when your car is stolen and then found

The first thing you'll need to do is file a police report. Once the report is filed, you'll need to contact your insurance company. They'll probably start an investigation of their own. If everything checks out, they should cover the cost of any damages to your car.

Read more: The Best Car Insurance Companies in 2022

FAQ

How does insurance work if your vehicle is stolen?

If your vehicle is stolen, your insurance company will typically cover the cost of a replacement vehicle. In some cases, if the car is deemed a total loss, you may receive a payout that can be used to purchase a new car.

It's important to note that your insurance policy may have specific limitations on what it covers in the event of a theft. For example, some policies may not cover rental cars or personal property inside the vehicle at the time of theft. Be sure to read your policy documents carefully to understand what is and isn't covered.


Do stolen cars lose value?

A previously stolen vehicle with a salvage title is often worth 20% to 40% less than the sale price of an identical used vehicle with a clean title.


What happens when your car is stolen and then found?

If your car is stolen and then found, the first thing you need to do is call the police and report it. Then, you'll need to look at your insurance policy to see your coverage. Most policies will cover the cost of a replacement car.


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