Does insurance cover theft or stolen vehicles in Ontario?

does car insurance cover theft in ontario
Does car insurance cover theft in Ontario, Canada?

Car insurance in Ontario covers theft or attempted theft of the insured vehicle and attached equipment. 

What do I do if my car is stolen in Ontario?

If your car gets stolen in Ontario, the first thing that should happen is to notify the police. The police will advise you if your vehicle is towed to an impound or will write up a police report for the stolen vehicle.  

The next thing to do is to notify your insurance company and put in a claim for the theft of your vehicle. Your claim will be assigned to a claims adjuster who will investigate, negotiate and settle your auto insurance claim.  

Provided you have the appropriate insurance coverage, your theft claim should cover the replacement or recovery and repairs (if applicable) to your car. 

The insurance company allows for 72 hours to lapse before coverage is offered. The 72-hour waiting period is to allow time for the vehicle to potentially be recovered. If the vehicle is not recovered within a 72-hour time frame, the insurance company will deem the vehicle a total loss. On the other hand, if the vehicle is recovered the insurance company will appraise the vehicle for any damages and repair the car. 

loss of use due to theft
Loss of Use Due to Theft

What happens to rental coverage during a theft auto claim in Ontario?

If you have “loss of use” coverage, also known as the OPCF 20, you can take out a rental vehicle as soon as your auto theft claim is reported and authorized. However, if you do not carry the OPCF 20, coverage for loss of use still exists under all-perils, comprehensive and specified perils coverages, subject to a $900 limit. The only condition is you have to allow 72 hours to lapse, from the time you reported the accident to your insurance company before a rental vehicle may be offered. 

Who pays for damages caused to my car if stolen in Ontario?

Provided you have all perils, comprehensive, or specified perils insurance coverage, your own insurance company would repair the damages to your vehicle caused by theft or attempted theft. If your vehicle is unrecoverable after three days your insurance company will replace your vehicle as if it was a total loss, subject to your deductible

Does insurance cover the theft of personal items?/belongings/tools/content/property

No, personal items, contents such as tools or other belongings are not covered if your vehicle is broken into. Personal property such as the type described typically needs to be claimed under a habitational policy.  If there is no particular, coverage for those items there would be no indemnity. However, if you find out who is responsible for stealing your belongings you can always take the wrongdoer to court for compensation.                                                                                           

Does insurance cover break-ins?

Provided you have the right insurance coverage, i/e all-perils, comprehensive or specified perils, auto insurance in Ontario does cover break-ins. 

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

It takes 2 to 4 weeks for your auto insurance company to pay out for a stolen vehicle claim. However, depending on how quickly your adjuster can work, it may take a bit longer or shorter to receive your payout. 

Does comprehensive insurance cover theft?

Yes, comprehensive insurance coverage covers theft or attempted theft.

What happens if your car gets stolen and you have full coverage?

If you have full coverage and your car gets stolen your insurance company will indemnify you for the damages or loss. Comprehensive, All-perils or Specified perils coverages would respond to the peril of theft. 

Does car insurance cover the theft of a catalytic converter?

Yes, as long as you have comprehensive, all perils or specified perils coverage, the theft of a catalytic converter would be covered, subject to your deductible. 

Does car insurance cover the theft of car parts?

Yes, as long as you have comprehensive, all perils or specified perils coverage, the theft of your car parts would be covered, subject to your deductible. 

What can I do if my car is stolen without insurance?

The only thing you can do if someone steals your car and you don’t have insurance coverage is to call the police and hope that they recover your vehicle. Even if your stolen vehicle is recovered there may be damages to it, which you would be responsible for.  However, if the police can identify and apprehend the thief, you may ask the courts for an order of restitution or take them to small claims court.  

What happens if a courtesy car gets stolen in Ontario? 

If your courtesy vehicle gets stolen the insurance company that responds to the loss or damage depends on a few different things:

  • Did you purchase insurance specifically for the courtesy or rental vehicle?  If so, the owner of the courtesy vehicle would claim under their policy for loss or damages caused by theft. For example, if you purchase insurance from a rental car company, that policy will respond to theft loss or attempted theft. 
  • Did you sign an agreement to be responsible for any loss or damages to that vehicle? If not, then the owner’s insurance policy would need to respond to the theft or attempted theft.  The owner’s policy would treat the theft claim like any other theft claim and should not impact your insurance.  
  • Did you elect to transfer coverages from your policy to the rental vehicle, while going through an auto insurance claim? If so, your policy would cover the theft or attempted theft of the courtesy vehicle, subject to your deductible and limitations. 

What insurance coverage applies when a vehicle gets stolen?

The coverage which applies when your vehicle gets stolen can either be All-perils, Comprehensive or specified perils coverages. 

Who pays for damages caused by the driver of a stolen vehicle in Ontario?

Your own insurance company pays for the damages caused by the driver of the stolen vehicle in Ontario. Your insurance company will then try and recoup the monies paid out on your claim from the wrongdoer(the driver), along with your deductible. Vehicle thefts are typically committed by career criminals, so getting your money back is sometimes very difficult. 

What theft is not covered? 

Not everything is covered for theft.  If someone who lives in your household steals your vehicle that is NOT covered.  Loss or damage caused by your employee who steals your automobile is also not covered. 

Peter Martire, CIP, CRM, RIBO – Executive Editor and Insurance Advisor

Peter has been working in the insurance industry since 2005. He has over 18 years of experience adjudicating complex auto insurance claims and sales and service brokering. In March of 2024, he partnered with Begin Insurance Inc. as a Senior Insurance Advisor. He also serves as Executive Editor of carinsuranceinontario .ca.

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