Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Catalytic Converter Theft?

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Andrew Lee is insurance content writer and editor for Andrew holds a Bachelor's degree from Ryerson University and has extensive experience of writing content for financial websites. His expertise is especially strong in home and auto insurance.

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Homeowners insurance provides no coverage for catalytic converter theft because the pilfering of this item is categorized as an auto-insurance issue. Catalytic converters are key vehicle components located on the bottom of the body, making them relatively easy to steal. If yours disappears in the night, your comprehensive auto coverage will replace it; however, if you carry liability coverage only, you are solely responsible for the costs.

What Types of Theft Does Homeowners Insurance Cover?

Vehicles are excluded from homeowners coverage because they have their own insurance mechanism. Even if thieves steal your vehicle or some of its components off of your property, your homeowners policy is not applicable.

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Homeowners insurance does cover theft from your home or property. For example, if items are taken in a home burglary, the personal property section of your insurance will replace them. In addition, your homeowners policy repairs any damage done by intruders.

In addition, if items are stolen from your yard, such as lawn furniture, maintenance equipment, or recreational materials, your homeowners policy replaces them.

What Is the Difference Between Comprehensive and Liability Auto Insurance?

Comprehensive auto insurance covers your vehicle. If it is vandalized or is stolen, the comprehensive portion of your insurance pays for the repairs or replacements needed. 

On the other hand, liability coverage pays when you cause an accident. For example, if you rear-end another vehicle, your policy covers the other driver’s damages, minus your deductible. Liability also pays the medical bills and other claims that may be associated with a personal injury claim.

Liability, however, does not cover damage to your vehicle. If another driver was at fault, then his or her insurance will pay for your property damage. However, if you cause the accident, you are on your own to pay for the repair or replacement of your vehicle.

What Is a Catalytic Converter?

Catalytic converters reduce hazardous emissions. In the U.S., the government has required manufacturers to include catalytic converters on all gas-powered vehicles since 1975. Catalytic converters consist of a metal-coated ceramic honeycomb that serves to recombine harmful fumes into safer gasses. They require several precious metals, including platinum, rhodium, and palladium. 

Catalytic Converter Theft Is On the Rise

When you tune into the local news, you may hear stories of catalytic converter thefts occurring at car dealerships, parking garages, and off the street. To those who know little about them, catalytic converter theft may seem like a low-value crime. In reality, catalytic converters are one of a vehicle’s most valuable components.

Catalytic converters are made with precious metals, including platinum, rhodium, and palladium. Thieves can fence precious metals for a large amount of cash money. These metals have always been valuable, but since the COVID pandemic, their prices have skyrocketed. The disruption of supply chains around the world due to lockdowns led to a shortage of these materials. As a result, criminals have realized that they can make fast and big money by stealing the catalytic converters that contain these metals. It’s turned into a big underground business and will probably continue to plague car owners and dealers until the metal prices fall.

Catalytic Converter Theft Prevention

Catalytic converter thefts often result in claims between $1,000 and $2,000. Because most policyholders carry deductibles of $500 to $1,000, victims must cover a substantial portion of the replacement cost themselves, plus face higher premiums. To help prevent yourself from becoming a victim, consider the following strategies:

  • Park close to a wall with the exhaust pipe facing it
  • Engrave your vehicle identification number (VIN) on the converter
  • Set your antitheft device to respond to vibrations 
  • Install a catalytic converter protection device 

When the value of a commodity increases rapidly, it becomes a target of thieves. Catalytic converters fetch up to $1,000 on the black market, making them a high-value target for thieves. Thefts of these devices are covered by comprehensive auto insurance, but victims must still cover their deductibles.

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Andrew Lee is insurance content writer and editor for Andrew holds a Bachelor's degree from Ryerson University and has extensive experience of writing content for financial websites. His expertise is especially strong in home and auto insurance.