Does auto or homeowners insurance cover “theft by deception” auto loss?

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Does auto or homeowners insurance cover “theft by deception” auto loss?

I purchased a vehicle out of good faith and was a victim of “theft by deception”; the vehicle was found to be originally stolen and was repossessed after I registered the vehicle. The vehicle was insured, but only for 2 days. Will the auto insurer cover my loss? If not, will my homeowner’s insurance cover the loss?

Asked on November 23, 2010 under General Practice, New Jersey

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Almost certainly neither will cover it. First, homeonwners does not cover cars or other vehicles--that's why you need to insure them separately against theft. Second, auto insurance would only cover theft at all if you bought theft coverage. Third, even if you bought theft coverage, it will only cover those types of theft actually specified in the policy--insurance is a contract, and insurers need to provide that coverage, and only that coverage, contained in the policy. Look at your theft policy and the definitions of theft therein; I suspect you'll see that this type of event is not covered. (If it is, the insuser must honor the coverage.) Note that you may have a good case to get your money back from the person or dealer who sold you the car, since they breached the contract and did not sell you what you were purchasing--i.e. car whose title they could convey. You may need to sue them to recover the funds, however, if they won't more-or-less voluntarily return the money.


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