Car Theft version 2

Quaddell’s post got me thinking. What if you WANT someone to steal your car? I know, an odd request, but let’s take my boyfriend. He’s a little nutso about motorcycles. At any one time, he’ll own 1-3 brand new motorcycles. He buys 'em, rides 'em for a while, then sells 'em. Usually, he doesn’t have much trouble doing this, but occasionally he’ll put an ad in the paper and get no response for a few months.

We’ve mused before that maybe we should take the unwanted bike to an urban area, park it, and leave the keys in it. If it gets stolen, his insurance would pay for it. Is this considered insurance fraud? After all, it’s not like he’s paying someone to steal it or anything. He’d just be betting on the odds that someone would see it and take it. Why don’t people do this more often to get rid of unwanted vehicles? What kind of trouble could we get in in the odd case that someone figured out we left it there on purpose?

Not that we’re really contemplating this, but it’s an interesting question.

I am not completely sure, but I think the Insurance company would likely get suspiscious if this happened too much.

Though if it happened too much the premiums would be as high as the price of the bike.

I think the Ins. Co. would investigate and if they felt that the bike or car was intentionally left to be stolen then I think they could make the case of fraud.

Not really a wise choice, though I am sure that people have done so in the past.


I think for a while my dad wanted his car stolen. Every night he’d leave the keys in, doors unlocked, windows open and a nice illuminated cell phone, just asking for someone to come and take it (although it never happened). But before you try a stunt like that you may want to very carefully check your insurence policy and make sure there aren’t any little clauses that you may have over looked such as not leaving the keys in the ignition or something along those lines, you may also want to take it to a busy city where there is less of a chance of it being recovered. Or I suppose you could just take it to a friends garage and say it got stolen from your driveway. Just make sure you don’t use it until after all the paper work goes through and you get the money. And after that make sure you don’t get pulled over on it or you’ll probably get arrested for having a stolen bike (then they’ll figure out it’s yours and you’ll get nailed for insurence fraud)

Formerly known as Nec3f on the AOL SDMB

>>I suppose you could just take it to a friends garage and say it got stolen from your driveway.

That really IS insurance fraud. What I’m really wondering about is if the insurance company could really do anything (besides raise your rates) even if you said “Hell, yes, I left it there hoping it would be stolen.” After all, you haven’t committed a crime - it legitimately WAS stolen. You didn’t do it, you didn’t pay anyone to do it, you just put it out there and prayed. It’s not illegal to park your motorcycle in a bad area, and it’s not illegal to leave the keys in it.

From personal experience, I can tell you that stolen vehicles like motorcycles are more likely to be recovered after being wrecked, trashed or stripped, than to completely disappear. Sure, the insurance co. will make good on the damages but you’re the one who has to arrange the repairs and pay the deductable, and still be stuck with a bike that will never be as good as before it was stolen.

Well just like there are often clauses in life insurance policies that the Ins. Co. does not have to pay in the event of a suicide, there may well be a clause whereby they do not have to pay if you purposely allow your bike or car to get stolen.

Just a guess though. Plus, whether it was recovered or not, the deductible would have to be paid and it might be worth lowering the price of the bike just to sell it outright.


Insurance companies have been doing this longer than you have. Because of the way they make their living, they constantly deal with people trying to scam them. So if you try something not-completely-honest, unless you’re really inventive, they’ll almost certainly have seen it before.

Nearly all policies are written to exclude intentional damage. If you’re fighting with your neighbor, and smash his fence down with your car, you pay for your own front-end work.
If you drain all your oil and drive around “just to see what’ll happen,” you pay to rebuild the engine. And if you, on purpose, leave your vehicle someplace where you know it’ll probably get stolen, you get to buy yourself a new one.

Before the insurance company pays you anything, they have to investigate. And when they find out that you left your bike in the park with the keys in it, little alarm bells will go off in their heads. (You could lie and say it was stolen without the key, but then you’d be in even deeper if it were found and the keys were still there.)

Even if your policy is worded in such a way that they would technically owe you money in this situation, they would likely refuse to pay anyway. In order to collect, you’d have to take them to court. That would take years, and would cost you more than the price of the bike. What’s more, the insurance company has many experienced lawyers on retainer, so you’d be far from guaranteed to win the case.

I know this is a little off the subject but in the corse of two years we’ve had two cars totaled and one rear ended just leaving them parked on the street. I always wondered if the insurance company was wondering about that. Especially because the two that were totalled were both old crappy station wagons that were just about ready to die anyways

Formerly known as Nec3f on the AOL SDMB

What you’re suggesting is dishonest, period.
That should be enough for anyone who knows the difference between right and wrong.

It’s dishonest if I do it. It’s not dishonest to ponder the implications of it, or to question how insurance/police/etc determine if a stolen vehicle is really stolen.

I understand the need to legally protect the Straight Dope board, but I do think the above post from the moderator was out of line to suggest that me or anyone else here doesn’t know the difference between right and wrong. Perhaps it was simply a miscommunication as often happens through email and other electronic communication. I certainly hope it was.

Well, sort of. As I said before, & having a web forum myself, you cannot talk about anything on the Internet. What you can talk about depends on what the forum owners say is okay. Believe it or not, forum owners can be sued if someone says something slanderous.

This whole idea, really, with the cars & insurance is a touchy subject for this forum. There are other places on the net you can talk about them without being too concerned.

NOTE: Don’t forget, you have to file a police report & you may get your car back sooner than you think and in what condition is anyone’s guess but youll have to take it back.

realy??? so if i were to say some thing like messagedeletedduetocontent**** or that the messagedeletedduetocontent****
or that i hate messagedeletedduetocontent****
sd could get sued?? that realy sucks!! why i’d like to messagedeletedduetocontent****
(this is a joke so dont go flame the admin for censoring me)

i am on a never-ending quest to eliminate capital letters

I am an attorney for the Kentucky Department of Insurance. What you are describing would either be a)insurance fraud (in KY at least) or b) not covered under most comprehensive coverages of auto insurance policies.

In KY, insurance fraud includes making any false, misleading or incomplete statement to an insurer in support of your claim. So, if you make a claim to your insurance company alleging that your motorcycle had been stolen without telling them that you intentionally left the keys in it while it was parked in a high crime area, you have made a misleading or incomplete statement. This is a felony.

On the other hand, if you do tell your insurer that you did this, they will not pay your claim. Auto insurance does not cover damages that you intended to occur. What you describe is analagous to taking a ball-peen hammer to your car’s hood, then asking your insurance company to pay for body work.

President of the Vernon Dent fan club.