With auto thefts up, check your insurance coverage so you’re not on the hook for damages
The Insurance Federation of Minnesota says to make a stolen auto claim, you have to carry comprehensive insurance.
ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. — ST. LOUIS PARK, Minn. — Home surveillance videos showing thieves stealing vehicles are playing out in neighborhoods all across the country.
Depending on what your insurance coverage is, you might be on the hook for damages.
“When it first happened we were like, what,” said St. Louis Park resident Ben Muhs. “It’s a violation is what it feels like.”
Thieves broke into Muhs’ girlfriend’s car recently and took their neighbor’s car across the street. The National Insurance Crime Bureau expects a million vehicles to be stolen in 2022. More than 993,000 were stolen in 2021, up 17% since 2019.
To file a claim for auto theft, you need to have comprehensive insurance, but that’s not required in Minnesota. The Insurance Federation of Minnesota reports one in four drivers do not carry comprehensive insurance.
“And for those people, if you have a car theft or your car damaged because of that, then you’re going to have to find a way to pay for it out of our own pocket,” said Insurance Federation of Minnesota spokesperson Mark Kulda.
But what if it’s not your car and only the stuff inside it that was stolen? Kulda says that different deductibles can make your decision tricky.
“So while you may only have a $500 deductible on your car itself, your property inside the car would be subject to your homeowners deductible, which let’s say, it’s a 1% deductible, you could have a several thousand dollar deductible and that could be an issue when you’re going to make a claim because it may not even be worth making the claim if the deductible is higher than what you lost,” said Kulda.
The St. Louis Park Police Department has seen a rise in thefts from cars. In 2019, officers took 269 reports. In 2020, that number jumped to 508 and 519 in 2021.
It’s also a good lesson to always lock your doors because if you’re at fault too many times, your insurance company could raise your rates or drop you.
“I feel safe, but at the same time it’s like, I do,” said Muhs. “I know it’s not just our community.”
The cities of Corcoran and Eden Prairie also reported a recent rash of car thefts and are reminding people to take your valuables inside, park in well-lit areas and consider adding a tracking device to your vehicle.
Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities in our YouTube playlist: