Crushed by car theft? Here’s how long it takes for insurance to cover your losses

Crushed by car theft? Here’s how long it takes for insurance to cover your losses
Crushed by car theft? Here's how long it takes for insurance to cover your losses

One of the worst feelings you can have is realising that your car has been stolen. It can be a traumatic experience. If you have insurance, you’ll at least have some peace of mind knowing that something can be done about the situation. However, this depends on the type of insurance cover you have. The crime rate in South Africa is high, as are the chances of your vehicle being stolen. According to Statistics South Africa’s latest crime report, 42 000 households experienced theft of motor vehicles in the 2021/2022 reporting period. In the same period, an estimated 137 000 hijacking incidents took place. For these reasons, comprehensive cover is the most preferred insurance option since it covers your vehicle in its entirety.


‘Owning a car can bring a great sense of independence, but it also carries a huge financial responsibility. That is why it is important to have insurance to protect yourself against any potential financial losses and liabilities that can arise from owning and driving a car,’ says Nirmal Amdawadi, Portfolio Manager for non-life solutions at Nedbank Insurance.


As soon as you can confirm that your vehicle has been stolen, go to the police station immediately. Opening a case for car theft at the police station will ensure that your vehicle details are flagged on the stolen vehicle database, and they’ll provide you with a case number, which you’ll need to submit a claim to your insurance provider. It’s important that you act quickly to increase the chances of your vehicle being recovered and to make sure that your claim is processed speedily.


How long will it take before you get a new car?

As we mentioned above, the faster you can act, the better. However, the time it takes for a claim to pay out depends on the circumstances. The most ideal outcome would be for the police to recover your vehicle successfully without any damage to it and for the perpetrators to be caught. Unfortunately, we don’t live in an ideal world, so the next best option would be to wait for your insurance provider to process your claim, which could take up to 30 days.


What happens if your car is recovered before the claim has been processed?

The police or tracking company will probably inform you if your vehicle has been found. As soon as you become aware of this, you need to inform your insurance provider immediately. It’s also important to get a clearance certificate so that your vehicle information can be removed from the stolen vehicle database. If this isn’t done, you will have to explain this situation to officials if you get stopped at a roadblock.


What happens if your car is recovered after the claim has been processed?

If you have any repayments left on your car, your insurance provider will first pay what you owe to the bank, and the balance will then be paid to you. The recovered car will be the property of the insurance company and any items found in the vehicle will be returned to you.


For more information about Nedbank Insurance, click here: <Cover for all your assets? We’ve got you | Nedbank Insurance>.