Theft of catalytic converters from automobiles has increased dramatically during the pandemic, leading auto insurers to issue warnings as they process millions of claims and drivers to take notice and contact their insurance and repair. Several questions were raised in the mind of car owners about insurance covering stolen catalytic converters. Here we will answer them all and describe the insurance coverage of stolen converters.
A cat converter is a part of your car that minimizes hazardous emissions. Since 1975, it has been a requirement for all gas-powered vehicles. On the underside of the car, this element is placed between the engine and the muffler. It comprises a metal-coated ceramic honeycomb (usually containing precious metals like platinum, rhodium, and palladium) that permits harmful compounds in the automotive exhaust to recombine and transform into safer gases. Carbon monoxide, for example, is a deadly gas that enters the converter, interacts with oxygen, and forms carbon dioxide.
So, how can you tell if your cat converter was stolen? The most noticeable indicator is if your car sounds significantly louder than usual when you start it. Why? The noise is caused by a stolen catalytic converter that disconnects the muffler. Your automobile will also be less responsive and have less acceleration than usual. There may also be a stench from the filthy exhaust. All you have to do now is pull over to the side of the road and examine underneath the car for an evident hole near the muffler in the underside.
Catalytic converter theft is growing
- 1 Catalytic converter theft is growing
- 2 Will insurance cover catalytic converter theft?
- 3 Is catalytic converter theft covered by renters’ insurance?
- 4 Stolen parts coverage may not be generated
- 5 What should you do if your catalytic converter has been stolen?
- 6 Expert advice on how to avoid theft and get compensated for stolen parts
Thefts of catalytic converters surged by 325 percent in 20201, according to claims data reviewed by the National Insurance Crime Bureau (NICB). In 2019, the NICB received claims for 3,389 thefts, with 14,433 in 2020. Thefts of these parts are thought to be greatly under-reported, therefore these figures only reflect incidents where policyholders filed claims.
According to 2021 claims statistics from State Farm Mutual Auto Insurance Co., the surge in stolen catalytic converters has been growing dramatically since the first year of the epidemic, even before the numbers for the full year of 2021 are in.
According to State Farm’s claim research, catalytic converter theft increased by over 293 percent in the 12-month period from July 1, 2020, to June 30, 2021. State Farm paid out more than $33.7 million in the 12-month period after its press release in July 20212, compared to less than $9 million in the preceding 12-month period.
The top U.S. vehicle insurer stated this summer that it paid out slightly more than $12 million in claims for catalytic converter theft in the second half of 2020. Despite this, State Farm paid moreover $21 million to cover them in the first six months of 2021.
Will insurance cover catalytic converter theft?
Catalytic converter theft is normally covered by comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy. Comprehensive coverage may cover the cost of replacing the stolen converter as well as any damage incurred as a result of its removal. Nonetheless, you should double-check your coverages with your existing insurance agent to ensure that you’re covered in the event of theft like this. Comprehensive insurance, despite its name, does not cover everything.
Is catalytic converter theft covered by renters’ insurance?
This one is a little more difficult. Your renters’ insurance will usually cover some aspects of car ownership but not others. Is catalytic converter theft included in this? Unfortunately, the answer is no. Renters insurance will cover you if your automobile or something in it is stolen, but not if the car itself is stolen.
Stolen parts coverage may not be generated
it’s not like all auto insurance policies cover the theft of the cat converter, which has been required in all gas-powered cars since the 1975 model year to decrease dangerous emissions.
A personal auto comprehensive insurance policy will cover this loss, as well as other parts thefts, flooding, damage caused by civil unrest, and other non-traffic accident losses, but owners must pay the deductible, which, depending on the car’s make and model, could be equal to or greater than the cost of the catalytic converter. “Drivers should contact their insurance to report the theft and choose the best course of action,” the NICB said.
While driving insurance costs are often covered by insurance, they are simply one of several factors that influence insurance premiums. Theft, automobile type, driving record, years of driving experience, miles are driven, and other factors are all part of the insurance picture and play a role. While catalytic converter theft plays a part in the overall picture, it is only a small part of it. NICB spokesperson Tully Lehman stated.
What should you do if your catalytic converter has been stolen?
After you’ve discovered your catalytic converter has been stolen, do the following steps:
- First and foremost, contact your local authorities. A police report is required when submitting an insurance claim for the theft of a catalytic converter.
- Please contact your insurance company as soon as possible. The cost of changing your catalytic converter may be covered by your car insurance. It is entirely dependent on your insurance policy.
- Finally, having your car serviced by a professional is recommended. A professional can assist you to understand your repair options and prevent driving without your cat converter.
Expert advice on how to avoid theft and get compensated for stolen parts
- Install an alarm system that is sensitive.
- On the cat converter, engrave your vehicle’s VIN number.
- Parking should be done in well-lit locations or garages.
- The NICB recommends that car owners install anti-theft catalytic converter devices, which are available from a variety of manufacturers.
- If your cat converter is stolen, report it to local law enforcement so that the trend can be tracked.
- You may hear a loud muffler disconnection sound, smell filthy exhaust escaping, and experience a loss of acceleration if the catalytic converter has been stolen. It’s a loud, “strange” noise, according to State Farm. Insurers warn that driving without one can be unsafe.
- If you haven’t already, ask your agent about adding comprehensive coverage to your policy so you can file an insurance claim in the future.