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Written by:
Shivani Gite
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Shivani Gite is a personal finance and insurance writer with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She is passionate about making insurance topics easy to understand for people and helping them make better financial decisions. When not writing, you can find her reading a book or watching anime.
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Reviewed by:
Laura Longero
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Executive Editor
Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

The theft of your vehicle that takes place during the carjacking should be covered under comprehensive coverage. If you have only liability on your car or just collision as physical damage coverage, you’re not covered.

In general, carjacking and carnapping are synonymous and mean that your vehicle is taken by intimidation or force and violence and is sometimes referred to as armed robbery of a motor vehicle.

If a carjacker takes your car, any damages the vehicle does to others would not be covered by your policy since they were done during a criminal act and without your permission. 

If found, your car should be covered, under your comprehensive coverage, for damages it sustained while in the control of the carjacker. If your car isn’t recovered or found but its repair costs are around the same as its worth, then your comprehensive coverage would pay you the car’s actual cash value instead of repairing it.

With carjacking, there is the possibility that you could be injured by the assailant who steals your vehicle, and this is where it can get tricky. 

With coverages like personal injury protection (PIP), medical payments and uninsured motorist bodily injury, you might be covered if you are injured during a carjacking or attempted carjacking.

In some states, such as Florida and Washington, courts have upheld that PIP should pay for injuries resulting from acts of violence that are associated with the use of your vehicle (such as a carjacking) since PIP is for injuries resulting from the ownership, maintenance and use of your car.

In other states, court cases have decided that an owner’s uninsured motorist bodily injury policy can be used if the person is hit by his own car once the carjacker has taken control of it. 

For injuries associated with a carjacking, courts and insurance companies look at many factors, such as whether the injury took place inside or outside of the vehicle, the terms of your policy, state laws and the outcome of court cases already tried on this issue.

The best way to find out if your policy covers injuries sustained in a carjacking is to ask your auto insurance company directly. You can also contact your state’s insurance regulator to obtain general information on this issue.

 — Penny Gusner contributed to this story.

Laura Longero

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Laura Longero

Executive Editor

Laura is an award-winning editor with experience in content and communications covering auto insurance and personal finance. She has written for several media outlets, including the USA Today Network. She most recently worked in the public sector for the Nevada Department of Transportation.

John McCormick

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John is the editorial director for CarInsurance.com, Insurance.com and Insure.com. Before joining QuinStreet, John was a deputy editor at The Wall Street Journal and had been an editor and reporter at a number of other media outlets where he covered insurance, personal finance, and technology.

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Nupur Gambhir is a content editor and licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert. She has extensive experience bringing brands to life and has built award-nominated campaigns for travel and tech. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service.

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Contributing Writer

Shivani Gite is a personal finance and insurance writer with a degree in journalism and mass communication. She is passionate about making insurance topics easy to understand for people and helping them make better financial decisions. When not writing, you can find her reading a book or watching anime.