Catalytic converter theft has been on the rise in recent years. These emissions control devices contain precious metals that thieves can sell for quick cash. Replacing a stolen catalytic converter can cost $1,000 or more. So does Geico insurance cover this type of theft?
The short answer is yes—if you have the right type of car insurance policy. Keep reading to learn what coverage you need, how to file a Geico claim, and steps to prevent converter theft in the first place.
What is a Catalytic Converter?
The catalytic converter is part of a vehicle’s exhaust system. It reduces toxic gas emissions by converting pollutants like carbon monoxide into less harmful compounds.
Catalytic converters contain platinum, palladium, and rhodium. These rare precious metals act as catalysts to facilitate the converter’s chemical reactions.
Converters are attractive targets for thieves because they can remove them quickly and sell the metals to scrap yards for a few hundred dollars. Replacing a stolen catalytic converter costs the vehicle owner considerably more.
Does Geico Cover Stolen Catalytic Converters?
Geico provides reimbursement for stolen catalytic converters if you have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy.
Comprehensive insurance pays for damage to your vehicle that is not caused by a collision. This includes:
- Flood damage
- Fire damage
- Hitting an animal
- Falling objects
So if you have comprehensive car insurance with Geico, they will cover the following costs related to catalytic converter theft:
- Replacement part and labor
- Additional repairs caused by the theft
- Temporary rental car reimbursement if needed
- Towing to a repair shop if required
You will need to pay your comprehensive deductible, which is usually $500-$1,000. Geico will cover eligible costs beyond that amount.
What if I Don’t Have Comprehensive Coverage?
If your Geico policy only includes liability and collision, you are not covered for catalytic converter theft.
- Liability coverage pays for damage you cause to others
- Collision coverage pays for repairs when you crash your car
Neither of these standard coverages apply to criminal acts like catalytic converter theft. You would be responsible for the full replacement cost out-of-pocket.
That’s why it’s highly recommended you add comprehensive coverage to your Geico policy to get protection from theft and vandalism. Comprehensive insurance only costs an extra $150-$300 per year on average.
How Much Does a Stolen Catalytic Converter Cost?
Replacing a stolen catalytic converter is expensive, with repair bills typically between $1,000 and $3,000. The exact cost depends on:
- Your vehicle make and model
- Type of metals in the converter
- Shop parts and labor rates
Luxury vehicles and hybrids like the Toyota Prius tend to have the most expensive catalytic converters due to their high metal content. Trucks and SUVs are also common targets because their high ground clearance makes converters easily accessible.
Comprehensive insurance through Geico offsets this large expense so you aren’t stuck paying the full replacement cost out-of-pocket.
How to File a Geico Claim for a Stolen Converter
If you discover your catalytic converter was stolen, follow these steps to file an insurance claim with Geico:
Report it to the police – File a police report to document the theft. Geico will ask for a copy.
Take photos – Photograph any damage caused by the thief cutting the converter out.
Call Geico – Report the claim to Geico at 800-841-3000 as soon as possible.
Get a repair estimate – Geico will reimburse you based on the estimate, minus your deductible.
Submit claim documents – Provide the adjuster any documents they request, such as police report, photos, and repair bills.
Get repairs – Have the converter replaced by an authorized mechanic once Geico approves the claim.
Settle the claim – Geico will issue payment for the total repair cost minus your deductible.
How to Prevent Catalytic Converter Theft
There are steps you can take to deter catalytic converter thieves:
Install a shield – A converter cover or cage can block access and make theft more difficult.
Park strategically – Park in busy, well-lit areas rather than secluded spots. Park close to building entrances when possible.
Engrave your VIN – Engraving the vehicle identification number onto the converter may deter some thieves.
Upgrade your security system – Consider adding sensors that detect vibration to alert you of potential tampering.
Buy theft deterrents – Gas cap locks, cables, and cages can help make your converter less accessible.
While these measures are not foolproof, they can reduce the risk of converter theft. Comprehensive insurance provides another layer of protection in case thieves strike.
Is Comprehensive Coverage Worth It?
Comprehensive car insurance provides valuable protection well beyond just covering catalytic converter theft. It safeguards your vehicle from:
✓ Hitting a deer or other animals
✓ Hail damage
✓ Falling objects like tree branches
✓ Riots or civil unrest
✓ Forest fires
This optional coverage gives vehicle owners peace of mind from unpredictable events and damage beyond their control. For just $150-$300 per year on average, comprehensive insurance is a smart purchase for most drivers.
Can I Get Cheaper Geico Insurance Quotes?
Absolutely! Here are some tips to get lower quotes for comprehensive coverage from Geico:
Raise your deductible – Higher deductibles lead to lower premiums.
Bundle home and auto insurance – Bundling multiple policies often results in a multi-policy discount.
Take defensive driving – Geico offers discounts for completing an approved safe driving course.
Enroll in auto pay – Paying your bill automatically can lower your rate in some cases.
Maintain good credit – Drivers with very good credit scores tend to pay less for insurance.
Use insurance comparison sites – Independent sites like Insurance.com allow you to quickly compare quotes.
Getting quotes from multiple insurers is also wise. Competitors like State Farm, Allstate, and Progressive may offer cheaper comprehensive premiums than Geico in some situations.
The Bottom Line
Catalytic converter theft is a real threat for drivers today, resulting in repair bills of $1,000 or more. Having comprehensive car insurance through Geico provides vital protection by covering the cost of a new converter when you file a claim.
Comprehensive coverage also safeguards against other forms of theft, vandalism, animal collisions, storms, fire, and more. For peace of mind against the unexpected, add comprehensive insurance to your Geico auto policy.
Will insurance cover a stolen catalytic converter?
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