You are right; your friend's car insurance company will not pay out since he is unable to make any type of claim for buying a stolen vehicle. Comprehensive coverage is only available for stolen vehicle claims when you legally own a car and it is stolen from you.
While we can't help your friend out, if he wants to try and recoup his money he will need to personally go after whomever he bought the car from, we can give you tips on how to check a vehicle to make sure it is not stolen when you are shopping for a car to buy.
First, obtain the vehicle identification number (VIN) of the vehicle you are thinking about buying. For most cars the VIN can be found on dashboards and the driver's side door jamb stickers.
With the VIN in hand, you now can use a free tool that that the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB) offers to the public called VIN Check. This database will tell you if a vehicle has been reported as stolen, but not recovered, or has been reported as a salvage vehicle.
Vin Check is not a comprehensive database, so it is also wise to obtain a vehicle history on any car you are thinking about purchasing.
While not free, you can request a vehicle history through the National Motor Vehicle Title Information System (NMVTIS). This report will provide you information on a vehicle's theft history, title history and odometer reading.
There are other online sites, such as CarFax and Auto Check, which for a minimal fee, will give you past history on a car. These types of reports usually include information such as: vehicle specifications, accident check, mileage accuracy check, lemon check, ownership check, recall check, warranty check and vehicle history details.
So that you do not end up in a situation like your friend, do research into any car that you plan on buying. Also to make sure you can afford costs associated with the type of vehicle you want to purchase, check car insurance rates before buying.
At CarInsurance.com you can obtain an unlimited number of free auto insurance quotes. You can select different types of vehicles on the vehicle page to compare the difference in the rate for various cars. Get started now with your instant car insurance quotes.