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Who Pays When A Car Left Running Is Stolen?

By Amy E. Feldman

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - If you leave your car to warm up unattended and it gets stolen, does insurance pay?

Two suspects were arrested last month in Columbus, Ohio for allegedly stealing a car that had been left to warm up, unattended.

With temperatures so low this winter, police departments around the country reported a sharp increase in this type of theft. Eleven cars warming up were stolen on the same morning in Indianapolis alone.

If your car is stolen because you left your keys in the car while it warmed up, can your insurance company refuse to pay because you should have known better?

The answer's a trick question.

It turns out, your behavior does matter, but not when you decided to warm up the car, but rather when you decided what type of insurance to buy. So, those policies that state minimum coverage you get for a low price often cover damage in a collision, but don't cover theft no matter whether the car was unattended and running or locked inside your garage.

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