One of the most asked questions we get as an insurance agent, is which coverage we recommend for the client’s car. It is always the client’s responsibility to decide how much coverage he or she thinks to need for the car. Do you need car theft coverage? And in case your car does get stolen, what is the car theft insurance claim process?
Where in most EU countries, people change from an all-risk coverage to third party coverage when the car is about 7 years old, in Spain this might be later. After an accident, some Spanish drivers might leave the scene without filling out the necessary paperwork. Sometimes they do fill out the paperwork but with incorrect data, so the insurance company can not claim their policy. Coming up with false testimonies is also a well-know trick. For these reasons, it can be a good idea to maintain all-risk coverage up till about 10-year-old cars, though maybe with more excess.
The following doubt tends to be if the car does or does not need car theft coverage. Consider that in Spain, 120 cars a day are being stolen, that is 42.000 stolen cars a year! Spain is the third European country with most stolen cars. It is not surprising that an average of 68% of the car insurances in Spain, include theft coverage, according to UNESAP
What if one day it would happen to you, your car has been stolen? What is the car theft insurance claim process? I will explain this to you in 5 steps:
- Make sure your car has not been towed away by a crane company because you parked in a prohibited area or because you have debts with your lease company. In this case, the crane company should leave a sticker on the ground where they took your car. If another car has already taken that place, you might never see this.
- Report the theft of your car with the police, mentioning the amount of KM on the car, color and possessions inside the car.
- Report all of this with your insurance company and send them a copy of the police report.
- If your car has a car locator, you should contact the company that can see where your car is, so they might find it for you. Never go after a stolen car yourself, but contact the police with this information.
- With all Spanish insurance companies, you have a 30-day waiting period before they accept the car is missing or stolen. Only after that period you can start the insurance claim. How much the insurance company will pay you, depends on the coverages and conditions of your car insurance policy.
These are all the documents and things your insurance company will ask from you:
- Police report (if you had not sent that yet).
- Car keys.
- Copy of your NIE or DNI.
- Proof of payment road taxes for the current calendar year.
- Proof that you have informed “Tráfico” that the car has been stolen and unsubscribe the car.
- In case the car is rented or leased, you will have to inform the financing company and give your insurance company their contact details.
- In case your car does turn up, but with damages. How to act?
Call your insurance company to let them know that they found your car. If you have already received money from the insurance company because your car was stolen, you can choose to keep the car and refund the money or keep the money and leave the car for the insurance company. If you decide to keep the car but it has been damaged, the insurance company will have to send a car expert to valuate the damages. Depending on your coverages, they will repair them on their account of these costs might be for your own expenses.
When you own a very old car, your insurance company might not want to offer you the option of theft coverage. In that case, with a basic third-party coverage, you will have to pay for a new car yourself.
Apart from all the paperwork a stolen car brings with it, you will be without a car for a long time. First of all because you will have to wait during the 30-day waiting period and after that it will take some time before you receive a possible compensation from your insurance company. The question will rise if you have the right of a replacement car.
Caser Seguros has an optional coverage called “Asistencia Más” which offers the insured party the right of a rental car for a limited number of days. The exact amount depends on the reason you need a rental car. If you contract this coverage directly at the start of your insurance, the cost for this coverage is 15-20 euro extra a year and can be a real life safer if you depend on the insured car.
Read more about Caser`s car insurance options here.