A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

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Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Melanie Musson is the fourth generation in her family to work in the insurance industry. She grew up with insurance talk as part of her everyday conversation and has studied to gain an in-depth knowledge of state-specific insurance laws and dynamics as well as a broad understanding of how insurance fits into every person’s life, from budgets to coverage levels. Through her years working in th...

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Reviewed by Melanie Musson
Published Insurance Expert Melanie Musson

UPDATED: Jun 7, 2022

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Just What's Essential

  • Comprehensive insurance coverage covers stolen stereos
  • Car insurance companies don’t cover aftermarket parts
  • Other items stolen from your car aren’t covered by full coverage
  • You may have to pay a deductible before you can receive a payout

Why should you have stolen stereo car insurance? Although not as common as it once was, stereo theft is still a major concern. People will break into a car and steal the stereo to resell or pawn it for cash. They may even steal any valuables in the vehicle.

Fortunately, there are affordable car insurance options that serve as car audio insurance coverage that will protect you if your stereo is stolen. There are some limitations to this, so it’s a good idea to review your policy to ensure that your specific situation will be handled.

Start searching for car insurance before your stereo is stolen by entering your ZIP code in the FREE comparison tool. Look for affordable stolen stereo car insurance near you now.

Does car insurance cover a stolen stereo?

Theft and vandalism are covered by comprehensive coverage. This is separate from your collision coverage. Comprehensive coverage applies to acts of nature and other sorts of non-accidental damage.

Most full coverage auto insurance policies include comprehensive insurance by default, but it’s sold separately from collision coverage. Therefore, it’s possible to have one without the other.

You will need to refer to your policy to see whether or not comprehensive coverage is included. With comprehensive coverage, you can have coverage for your car radio.

Some car insurance companies will not list stolen stereo car insurance because car radio coverage is under comprehensive insurance.

For example, the Progressive insurance stolen car policy covers damages if your vehicle is stolen or if someone breaks into your car and takes your possessions.

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What coverage protects against partial theft?

Comprehensive coverage only applies to stereo systems that are factory installed in the vehicle. If you have an aftermarket stereo installed in the car, your insurance company may not cover aftermarket stereo installation costs or any aftermarket parts.

According to Investopedia, aftermarket parts are not made from the original manufacturer but serve as replacement parts.

If the device is portable, such as a Sirius radio, auto insurance will not cover its theft. Therefore, you would need to file a claim against a homeowners or renters insurance policy.

Some people choose to install very large or expensive sound systems in their vehicles. These systems may include speakers, subwoofers, and other specialized sound equipment.

If you purchase an amplifier, get amplifier insurance or a warranty to cover it from the stereo company. Or, contact your car insurance company to see if your amplifier is covered in your auto insurance policy.

Car Insurance Covers Permanently Installed Equipment

Although these systems are permanently installed, they cannot be covered by comprehensive insurance because they are aftermarket additions to the vehicle. Instead, the insured can purchase a separate sound system policy.

This policy will require you to provide an appraisal of the sound system’s worth. If the system is stolen or damaged, the insurance will pay according to the system’s value minus any applicable deductibles.

Not all policies offer this coverage, so be sure to ask your insurer whether a sound system can be covered before installing one.

Car Stereo Theft Statistics

The Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI) doesn’t list car stereo thefts, but they list the number of property crimes and motor vehicles stolen. It’s a long list for each state, so we’ve calculated the national average and the total number of property crimes and motor vehicle thefts for you.

U.S. National Property Crime and Motor Vehicle Theft Statistics
Type of CrimeAverage Number of Crimes per StateTotal Number of Crimes in the U.S.
National Property Crimes5454,115,665
National Motor Vehicle Thefts59447,202
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Out of the 4.1 million property crimes, about 450,000 involved motor vehicle theft in 2018.

Car insurance companies use these statistics to determine comprehensive car insurance rates.

Let’s take a look at average car insurance rates by coverage type in the U.S.

National Average Car Insurance Rates by Coverage Type
Coverage TypeAverage Annual Car Insurance RatesAverage Monthly Car Insurance Rates
Full Coverage$1,030$86

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To combat increasing theft statistics, car insurance policies are continuously updated to help customers and to raise rates so the insurance companies make a profit.

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Filing a Claim for a Stolen Stereo

Before a car insurance company can issue a stolen car insurance payout, they have to investigate your claim. A stolen car insurance claim investigation can take several weeks. It’s even more complicated when you’re financing your car.

Whether you’re submitting a claim against your comprehensive coverage or a specific sound system policy, the request should be filed directly with the insurance company’s claims department.

You can do this at the agent’s office, over the phone, or even online. The process will take about 15 minutes to complete.

The insurance company will ask:

  • Where the vehicle was parked
  • How the thief got into the car
  • If anything else was damaged

Depending on the situation, the vehicle may need to be inspected for damage by the insurance company.

Stolen Stereo Car Insurance Deductible

Some insurers will request that you submit a receipt for the purchase and installation of a new stereo and reimburse accordingly.

Bear in mind that any comprehensive deductible that you have will apply to the loss. Depending on the stereo and installation cost, it may not be worthwhile to file the claim.

For example, if a new stereo costs $300 to install and the deductible is $500, there is no reason to file a claim. For this reason, it may be a good idea to get an estimate on the replacement before submitting the claim.

Other Damage Car Insurance Covers if Your Stereo is Stolen

The stolen stereo may not be the only damage to the vehicle. However, other damage may not be immediately apparent.

For example, there may be damage to the door locks from where the thief broke into the car or the vehicle may have sustained electrical damage when the thief removed the stereo.

This can increase the overall cost of the repairs and make it worthwhile to file a claim. Depending on how your policy is written, this additional damage may not be covered under sound system coverage.

This means that you may end up owing two separate deductibles if the vehicle sustains damage and you have a stolen sound system.

Even if you choose not to submit a claim at first, be sure to keep your receipts for any work that you have done on the vehicle. You can offer them for reimbursement if the final repair ends up costing more than the deductible.

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Stolen Stereo Car Insurance: Bottom Line

Car insurance claims can be complicated, and multiple variables may be involved in any specific situation. If you’re not sure how your coverage will apply to the scenario you’re dealing with, your best bet is to contact your insurance company directly to ask.

The agent or customer service representative will be happy to discuss your policy with you and answer any questions you may have about a specific claims situation.

Want to compare insurance companies to find the best rates and policies for your vehicle and sound systems? Just enter your ZIP code into our free comparison tool to get started.

Frequently Asked Questions: Does car insurance cover a stolen stereo?

Let’s recap what you’ve learned about stolen stereo car insurance. We’ve found 10 questions that appear on search engines across the internet and answered them to add to what you learned about how insurance can cover stolen radios.

We want you to be fully prepared to choose the best stolen stereo car insurance company for you.

#1 – How does insurance handle a stolen car?

The moment you realize your car has been stolen, call the police. Once you end the call with law enforcement, contact your insurance company to file a claim. Don’t wait. This will start the investigation and the claims process.

#2 – Does car insurance cover theft of personal items?

No. You will need personal property insurance or content insurance to cover the cost of personal items stolen.

#3 – What does insurance cover if your car is stolen?

With comprehensive coverage, insurance companies will cover any damage to the car. However, your items will not be covered.

#4 – Do I have to pay my deductible if my car is stolen?

It depends on the company, but most of the time, you’ll pay a deductible. The amount of the deductible depends on what you selected when you first signed up for insurance coverage.

#5 – Will renters insurance cover items that were stolen from my car?

Yes. Renters insurance will cover items stolen from your car.

#6 – Does full coverage car insurance cover theft?

Yes. Comprehensive coverage is part of the full coverage package, so your car insurance policy should cover theft.

#7 – What do you do after someone steals your car?

Contact the police immediately. As police are making a report, have your insurance company on stand-by to file a claim.

#8 – Do cops look for stolen cars?

Absolutely. The nature of each motor vehicle theft is different. Law enforcement will put the description of your car into their database. The more information you have, the faster they can find your vehicle.

#9 – Does insurance cover a stolen car if keys were left behind?

No. Insurance companies may consider keys left behind as a sign of negligence on the part of the customer. Each company is different, however.

#10 – Do people still steal car stereos?

Yes. Car stereo thefts are much less common since stereos have become more elaborate, but don’t count them out. Lock your vehicle every time you leave it.