Does auto insurance cover a stolen catalytic converter?

What is a catalytic converter?

It takes many parts to make your vehicle run correctly, and while you may know what most of them are called, you may not know their specific functions. One important piece of equipment in your car is the catalytic converter, which filters out hazardous emissions from your car’s exhaust system. Since 1975, all gas-powered vehicles have been required to have a catalytic converter. Catalytic converters not only help the environment by reducing exhaust pollution, but they also improve the efficiency of your vehicle’s performance. The catalytic converter can be found on the underside of your car within your exhaust system.

Why are catalytic converters stolen?

You may have noticed increased news reports about stolen catalytic converters in the past few years. But why are catalytic converters stolen? There are a few reasons why catalytic converters have a higher risk of theft than other car parts. 

  • They contain precious metals like palladium, platinum and rhodium, which can be sold for significant value. 
  • Their exterior location makes them easily accessible to thieves.
  • Most catalytic converters aren’t equipped with a serial number or other information that would make them easy to track.

There are several steps you can take to protect your car from being vandalized by catalytic converter theft. Parking in well-lit public areas, changing your car alarm settings to respond to vibrations and installing a catalytic converter protection device can all help reduce the likelihood of your catalytic converter being stolen. Some cars are targeted more than others, including hybrids, SUVs and trucks. If you own one of these vehicles, you can engrave your license plate number or VIN onto your catalytic converter to make it easier to trace if it’s stolen.

Is this covered by my auto insurance?

Catalytic converter theft can be covered by auto insurance if you have comprehensive coverage, which covers damage to your car from an event that’s out of your control, like theft, vandalism or a natural disaster.  If you’re concerned about your catalytic converter being stolen, it’s a good idea to review your auto coverage to see if you have comprehensive coverage.  

If you do have comprehensive coverage and you file a claim for a stolen catalytic converter, your insurance will typically pay to replace it and any damage to the vehicle that occurred during the theft. Keep in mind that filing a claim will likely cause your auto insurance rate to go up. Depending on the cost of the replacement and your deductible, it may make more sense financially to replace the stolen part yourself rather than filing a claim.

Am I able to drive my car without a catalytic converter?

You can technically drive a car without a catalytic converter without damaging the car or the engine. However, without the catalytic converter to reduce emissions from your vehicle, you’d be causing harm to the environment. 

The risks of driving a car without a catalytic converter go beyond environmental damage. Because most vehicles are required by law to have a catalytic converter, it’s illegal to drive your car without one. If your catalytic converter is stolen, you should refrain from driving your vehicle and get the part replaced by a professional as soon as possible.

Looking to update your coverage so it covers catalytic converter theft? Let SelectQuote help you review your coverage options.

If you have questions about your auto insurance and catalytic converter theft, SelectQuote is here to help. Through our easy online form process and proprietary technology that searches dozens of auto insurance carriers at once, our experienced licensed insurance agents will quickly guide you through purchasing, switching or expanding your auto insurance coverage. We only work with highly-rated carriers you can trust and take the time to get to know your exact needs, all with the goal of saving you time and money as you shop for insurance.

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