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If My Catalytic Converter is Stolen Does My Insurance Cover This?

picture of a catalytic converter

Your catalytic converter is an automotive component that reduces harmful emissions. It is a mandatory part of all gas-powered cars since 1975. This part is located between the engine and the muffler on the underside of the vehicle. It consists of a ceramic honeycomb coated in metals (typically platinum, rhodium, and palladium) that allows dangerous substances in the car’s exhaust to recombine and convert into safer gases. As an example, carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas, enters the converter, mixes with oxygen, and exists as carbon dioxide.

There is a huge uptick in thefts of Catalytic Converters because they are not only easy to steal, but the metals used in them are quite valuable and resale value is very lucrative. Target cars are ones made after 1975 and tend to be on the “older” side because those catalytic converters have more metals than the new model cars. Hybrids can also be attractive for thieves because their catalytic converters see much less use than standard cars, resulting in metals that are easier to salvage. Any car with a high ground clearance (for example a SUV) is a more popular car for catalytic converter theft because it’s easier to get under the vehicle and reach the converter. Then again, some are bolted on and some are welded on, all playing a role in the difficulty of how a thief steals it from you. It really only takes a couple minutes for someone to steal a catalytic converter.

So how do you know if your catalytic converter has been stolen? The most obvious sign is if when you start your car, it sounds much louder than usual. Why? A stolen catalytic converter will disconnect the muffler resulting in the noise. Your car will also seem less responsive than usual and will lack acceleration. A smell from the unclean exhaust may be noticeable too. All you need to do is pull over safely, and look underneath the car for an obvious hole in the undercarriage near the muffler.

So is that stolen catalytic converter covered by your auto insurance? Typically if you have comprehensive coverage on your auto insurance policy, then you’re covered against catalytic converter theft. Comprehensive coverage may pay out to replace the stolen converter and repair any related damage from its removal but it is best to ask your current insurance agent at R.S. Semler Insurance Affiliate of Robertson Ryan Insurance to check your coverages to ensure you are covered from theft such as this.

Business and personal insurance in Washington County, WI can be provided to you by R. S. Semler & Associates Insurance, Inc. After a brief consultation with us, we are able to tailor policies specific to your unique situation because we represent numerous insurance companies and have local licensed agents on staff in Hartford, WI available to help you when you need it most. You can learn more about us and insurance at or call us at 800-414-5875.

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