Is a carnapping or carjacking covered by insurance?
Yes, the theft of your vehicle that takes place during the
carjacking should be covered under
. If you have only
on your car or just
as physical damage coverage, you're not covered.
In general, carjacking and carnapping are synonymous and mean
that your vehicle is taken by intimidation or by force and violence
and is sometimes referred to as armed robbery of a motor
Carjacking is such a serious crime that the
Insurance Information Institute
notes it's a federal offense, which is punishable by up to life
imprisonment or even punishable by death if it results in someone
being fatally injured.
If your car is taken by a carjacker, any damages the vehicle
does to others would not be covered by your policy since they were
done during a criminal act and without your permission.
If found, your car should be covered, under your comprehensive
coverage, for damages it sustained while in the control of the
carjacker. If your car isn't recovered, or found but its repair
costs are around the same as its worth, then your comprehensive
coverage would pay you the car's actual cash value instead of
With a carjacking, there is the possibility that you could be
injured by the assailant who steals your vehicle, and this is where
it can get tricky.
With coverages like personal injury protection (PIP), medical
payments and uninsured motorist bodily injury, you might be covered
if you are injured during a carjacking or attempted carjacking.
In some states, such as Florida and Washington, courts have
upheld that PIP should pay for injuries resulting from acts of
violence that are associated with the use of your vehicle (such as
a carjacking) since PIP is for injuries resulting from the
ownership, maintenance and use of your car.
In other states, court cases have decided that an owner's
uninsured motorist bodily injury policy can be used if the person
is hit by his own car once the carjacker has taken control of
For injuries associated with a carjacking, courts and insurance
companies look at many factors, such as whether the injury took
place inside or outside of the vehicle, the terms of your policy,
state laws and the outcome of court cases already tried on this
The best way to find out if injuries sustained in a carjacking
are covered by your policy is to ask your auto insurance company
directly. You can also contact your state's insurance
regulator to obtain general information on this issue.