Does insurance cover stolen catalytic converter?
Catalytic converter theft is usually covered by comprehensive auto insurance. Comprehensive coverage typically covers the cost of replacing the catalytic converter stolen and any damage that may have occurred from its removal.
In recent months, concern among drivers has been increasing due to the considerable increase in the theft of vehicle catalytic converters. But if my catalytic converter is stolen, does my insurance cover it? As in everything, it will depend on the car insurance policy we have contracted, as we detail a few lines later. But let’s first see what this device is and what it is for.
The catalytic converter is a part that all vehicles carry, both diesel and gasoline, and is responsible for reducing the polluting gases that come from their engines. In fact, in the ITV, the emissions of our vehicle are measured. Therefore, it is one of the revised parts and one that causes more headaches because an incorrect functioning of the catalytic converter will mean its change and the payment of the price of the part, which is around 400 euros on average.
What is a catalytic converter?
The automobile’s key component is the catalytic converter, a crucial component of an automobile’s engine that reduces harmful emissions. Since 1975, all cars powered by gas have had a catalytic converter as a standard component. It is located between the engine’s muffler and the engine. It comprises a ceramic honeycomb coated with metals (typically platinum, rhodium, and palladium). This allows harmful substances in the exhaust to recombine and be converted into safer gases. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous gas that enters the converter, reacts with oxygen, and then exits as carbon dioxide.
The catalytic converter is a small box located next to the engine. It is made up, among other things, of a substance made up of highly appreciated metals of high economic value: platinum, radium, and palladium. And these metals are the only reason catalyst thefts happen so often. In addition, the larger the vehicle, the larger the catalyst, and the more precious metal it carries, with which transport vehicles, both passenger and freight, are the number one objective of alien friends.
What happens if my car’s catalytic converter is stolen?
If the catalytic converter was removed from the car, it could continue to be used since it is not an essential part of its operation. As we have indicated previously, it is simply in charge of reducing the emission of polluting gases. But normally, when they steal your catalytic converter, they don’t do it carefully: they yank it off, which can cause damage to the engine or the exhaust pipe.
So, is the theft of the catalytic converter covered by insurance? As we said at the beginning of this post, it will depend on the insurance company and the policy that we have contracted. The first thing to do if your catalytic converter is stolen is to report it to the police at the nearest police station.
Then, with the complaint in hand, you must inform your insurance and, depending on what you have or are not included in your policy, fix it and pay it. You have to check if your policy includes the guarantee for theft and if, in this case, the catalytic converter is included. The vast majority of insurance companies do not cover the theft of the catalytic converter when it has been the only part stolen.
On the other hand, if your car is fully insured, the insurance may cover the replacement of the part and labor. Despite having this coverage, many insurance companies cover only 80% of the value of the catalytic converter. Moreover, even though your insurance is all risk, there is also the possibility that this piece is not covered since “damages that exclusively affect the catalytic converter” are not usually included even in all-risk policies.
As always, it is about studying all the options well and looking for the policy that best suits your type of vehicle and your needs.
Read also: Connected car insurance
What to do if my catalytic converter is stolen
The steps you should take if it happens to you are simple. First, you must file a complaint with the police to record this fact. Then, check in your car insurance policy if it is covered, and if so, the third point you should consider is reporting this claim.
In any case, we can always do our part to try not to steal this element from our car.
Is it legal to drive without a catalytic converter?
Every state has a law against removing the catalytic converter. It is a serious offense to remove the converter yourself. The government can fine you thousands of dollars for doing this. To have your exhaust system repaired, file an insurance claim if someone has stolen your catalytic converter.
Tips to prevent catalytic converter theft
Although no one is completely safe from being robbed, there are some guidelines that we can follow to put our car in a safe place (or at least try).
The best thing is to keep the car in the garage. If your home doesn’t have this space, you may be able to rent one in another building near your home or work.
If it is impossible to consider this option, do it in a well-lit place or one of the busiest places you can choose whenever you park the vehicle. This can be considered a dissuasive measure since it makes it difficult to manipulate the car, even for a short time, because the risk of being seen is higher than if you park in a place with little traffic, alleys, or where there is no lighting.
There is a third possibility, which is to try to find a parking lot in the field of action of the traffic cameras of your town hall or the security cameras from banks (usually there are where there are ATMs) or other companies.
If someone intends to steal your catalyst and realizes the existence of these cameras, the most logical thing is that he desists from thinking about it. Suppose you do not realize there are image recording devices when filing a complaint. In that case, you can warn of this detail so that the police can request, following the proper procedures, the viewing of these recordings to know the time of the robbery and have an idea of who or who they could have been. This way, they will have more data to start the search for this or these subjects and proceed to their arrest if possible.