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Will policy pay towing and storage for recovered stolen vehicle?


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Question:  My stolen car has been recovered 75 miles from my home. Will my policy pay for the car to be towed back home and storage fees?

Answer:  It depends upon what coverages you have as part of your car insurance policy. If you have liability only, then it won’t pay for any towing or storage that your stolen vehicle racked up, but if you have comprehensive coverage, it should.

Comprehensive coverage is what covers your stolen vehicle and associated costs, if the car is recovered, minus your associated deductible. If your comprehensive insurance doesn’t cover the towing or impoundment fees associated with recovery of a stolen vehicle, the policy should state this (or list it as an exclusion).

Because your car was recovered and towed to an impound lot, most comprehensive policies would pay for the costs of the tow and the related storage fees. Since the car is 75 miles away, your comprehensive car insurance should pay for the car to be towed to a repair facility in your area, if it isn’t drivable.

If, however, the car is drivable, then your insurer may not pay for towing it back to your house. Instead, they make expect you to find a way in which to pick up your vehicle from the impound lot, depending upon the terms of your car insurance policy.

If you have comprehensive coverage, speak to your auto insurer’s claims department about your recovered stolen vehicle and how to proceed in having it returned to you from out-of-town, or having it towed to a repair facility in your area to begin necessary repairs to get it operational.

The sooner this is done, the better. In some states, car insurance companies can stop paying for auto storage fees after a certain period of time, after giving you reasonable notice (which is usually around three days).

If you only have liability coverages on your vehicle, bodily injury and property damage as the state requires, then your auto insurance policy won’t cover your stolen car or the fees associated with its recovery, such as the towing and storage fees.

With only liability insurance, you’ll have to travel the 75 miles to check on your stolen car and see if you can drive it home or will need to have it towed.

If the thief were apprehended, then you may try to go after that individual personally for restitution. If that is not possible, see if your state, county or municipality offers any type of reimbursement for auto theft towing and impound lot fees through an emergency fund set up for victims. We have seen this offered in some areas of the country.

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