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How Long Does It Take For Insurance To Pay Out On A Stolen Vehicle?

How long does it take for insurance to pay out on a stolen vehicle | KBD Insurance
Curtis Killen

As president of KBD, Curtis aims to simplify insurance for his clients. He’s helped lead KBD to become one of Canada’s fastest 400 growing companies according to the Globe & Mail.

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Vehicle theft rates are at an all time high in Canada. So, what do you do if you end up the unfortunate victim of one of these thefts? Here, we’re explaining the insurance claims process for stolen vehicles.

So, how long does it take for insurance to pay out on a stolen vehicle?

To give you a short and sweet answer: Insurance companies typically wait 30 days before issuing a payout for a stolen vehicle, in case it is recovered by police before then. 

However, if you’ve experienced a vehicle theft, there’s a few more things you should know. 

In this blog, we’re explaining everything you need to know about insurance payouts for stolen cars, including the claims process and the nuances of how long it takes for insurance companies to pay out for a stolen vehicle.

Understanding what to expect during the insurance claims process can give you peace of mind, especially as vehicle thefts continue to spike across Canada

Keep reading to learn the details.

Or, if you’d rather speak to a car insurance broker directly, we can help with that too. 

Call us, or get an online quote below. 

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How long does it take for insurance to pay out on a stolen vehicle?

Navigating the aftermath of a stolen vehicle is stressful. 

Here are the steps to making a claim with your insurance company, and how long you can expect to wait to receive your payment. 

Reporting the Theft: The Initial Steps

Contact Law Enforcement:

  • Immediately notify the police upon discovering that your vehicle is stolen.
  • Obtain a detailed police report, which is a crucial document for your insurance claim.

Notify Your Car Insurance Company:

  • Promptly inform your insurance provider about the theft.
  • Prepare to provide details and relevant circumstances surrounding the incident, and the details of your car’s make, model, insurance, and registration.

Processing the Claim: Timeframes and Considerations

Investigation  & Payout Period:

So, how long does it take for insurance to pay out on a stolen vehicle?

Here’s what to expect:

  • Your insurance company will conduct a thorough investigation into the theft.
  • The investigation duration varies, however most insurance companies will wait 30 days to issue a payout in case police are able to recover your vehicle. If your vehicle is returned but has damages, they will be covered under your car insurance theft policy.

Payout Timeline: Considerations:

  • Once the investigation is complete and your claim has been approved, your insurer determines the payout amount. Stolen cars are considered a total loss, and you will be paid out for the current market value of the vehicle, not the purchase price or original value.
  • The actual payout timeline varies but typically takes several weeks.

In addition to this, administrative processes, documentation reviews, and assessment of claim validity contribute to the time you’ll have to wait.

How long does an insurance company have to investigate a claim in Canada?

Waiting for a claim to be approved after you’ve experienced an auto theft can be stressful. 

Here’s what you need to know about insurance companies’ claims processes:

Standard Investigation Timeframe:

The specific timeframe for investigation can vary based on the complexity of the claim and the insurer’s internal processes.

However, there are certain regulatory guidelines:

While there isn’t a fixed timeline mandated by law, insurance regulators in Canada expect insurers to handle claims efficiently and fairly.

Insurance companies are required to communicate with claimants regarding the progress of the investigation and any delays that may arise.

Factors Influencing Stolen Car Investigation Time:

The nature of the claim, extent of damages, and availability of evidence can impact the duration of the investigation. Complex claims may require more time for thorough evaluation and assessment.

Does car insurance cover theft in Canada?

News about increasing vehicle theft (especially in major port cities like Toronto, Montreal, and Vancouver) might have you double-checking your coverage.

While car insurance in Canada typically includes coverage for theft under comprehensive policies, as a policyholder, you should familiarize yourself with what you’re covered for, and take proactive measures to keep your vehicle secure.

Here’s what you need to know about insurance for vehicle thefts:

  • Comprehensive auto insurance typically covers theft, providing financial protection if your vehicle is stolen. It also extends beyond theft, including collisions, and vandalism.

Policy Limitations and Deductibles:

  • While comprehensive coverage includes theft protection, policyholders should review their insurance policies to understand coverage limits and deductibles.
  • Deductibles may apply in the event of a theft claim, so make sure you have money saved in case you experience a theft!

You can read our full guide on car insurance deductibles here.

What is the most stolen car in Canada?

Understanding the landscape of vehicle theft in Canada can help motorists make informed decisions about protecting their vehicles. 

Here’s a look at the most stolen cars in Canada in 2024, according to Équité Associations:

  1. Honda Civic: The Honda Civic consistently ranks as one of the most stolen vehicles in Canada, according to data from law enforcement agencies and insurance companies. Its popularity, reliability, and interchangeable parts make it a target for thieves seeking quick profits through resale or parts stripping.
  2. Ford F-Series Trucks: Ford F-Series trucks, particularly older models, are also frequent targets for theft due to their high resale value and demand for parts in the aftermarket.
  3. Dodge Ram Trucks: Dodge Ram trucks, known for their robust performance and utility, are another popular choice among thieves seeking valuable vehicles for resale or parts.

Vehicle Theft: Preventative Measures:

To lessen the risk of car theft, you can implement security measures like installing anti-theft devices, parking in well-lit areas, and using steering wheel locks or immobilizers. 

And of course, having the proper insurance for stolen cars. 

Being vigilant and proactive about vehicle security can deter thieves and safeguard your investment against potential theft incidents.

In summary, while certain vehicle models are more susceptible to theft than others, motorists can take proactive steps to protect their vehicles and reduce the risk of car theft.

By staying informed about common theft trends in your area and implementing effective security measures, motorists can enhance the safety and security of their vehicles on Canadian roads.


So, how long does it take for insurance to pay out on a stolen vehicle?

As a rule of thumb? 30 days. 

But remember, the timeline for insurance payouts on stolen vehicles varies based on factors like the complexity of the claim and your insurer’s processes.

However, acting quickly, and having all of the required information on hand can get you a faster resolution.