What happens if my car is recovered after the claim has been paid?

If the claim has already been paid, then your insurance company owns the vehicle. First, you must report the recovery of your vehicle right away and let your insurance company know. In most cases, they will send a team to retrieve the vehicle. If you haven't bought a new vehicle, your insurance company may offer you the option to buy back the car. The exact procedure varies from company to company, so it's best to check with your insurer about what your options are.

According to the FBI, approximately 721,885 vehicles were stolen in 2019. Only a small number of cars are ever returned after they disappear.

What happens if my car is recovered during the claims process?

If your stolen car is recovered with no apparent damage, contact your insurance company immediately. This will halt the process and allow your insurance company to assess the vehicle for damage so they can pay out the repair costs for your vehicle if any are needed.

If the vehicle is declared a total loss, your insurance company pays the actual cash value, just as they would if the car was stolen. In both situations, your deductible would apply and be deducted from the claim payout.

Who owns the items inside a recovered vehicle?

In most cases, your auto insurance policy doesn't cover personal items inside your vehicle. Renters or homeowners insurance most often protects items stolen from inside a car. If your car is recovered, the items inside it are still yours, even if the car itself is now the property of the insurance company.

Your policy also may pay for the cost of custom parts or modifications if you have custom parts and equipment (CPE) coverage. Comprehensive and collision coverage may pay up to a certain amount for custom parts, depending on your insurer, but any damage beyond this amount requires CPE coverage. This coverage protects upgrades and modifications to your vehicle, like rims or a custom stereo system. If your vehicle is stolen, this coverage will pay the additional replacement cost of those items, up to a specified limit.