If you have ever had your car broken into, you know the feeling of violation and frustration that comes along with it. Not only is your vehicle damaged, but all of your personal belongings are also gone. If this has happened to you, you may be wondering if auto insurance covers personal items stolen from your car. The answer to that question depends on your specific policy. In this post, we’ll discuss what coverage is available for personal belongings stolen from cars and provide tips on preventing this from happening to you.
Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft of Personal Items in a Vehicle?
No, your auto insurance policy won’t cover personal items stolen from your car. So, if your laptop is stolen from your vehicle, you’ll have to rely on your renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy for coverage. The same is true for any other valuables you keep in your car, like jewelry, golf clubs, or collectibles. If you have comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy, you may be able to file a claim for the damage caused by the theft, for example, broken windows, but the actual value of your stolen belongings will not be reimbursed.
If you want to be sure your personal belongings are covered in the event of a car break-in or theft, you can purchase a standalone personal property insurance policy. The bottom line is that it’s always a good idea to keep track of your valuables and make sure they’re not left out in the open in your car, where they could be an easy target for thieves. You can also store valuables in a locked compartment bolted to your car’s frame. This will make it more difficult for thieves to steal and may help deter them from targeting your vehicle.
Does Homeowner’s Insurance Cover Personal Items Stolen From My Car?
Homeowner’s insurance policies typically cover your personal belongings, even when stolen from your car. This is because most homeowners’ policies include “off-premises” coverage, which means that your personal belongings are covered even when they’re not on your property. So, if you have a laptop, cellphone, jewelry, holiday gift, or purse stolen from your car, you should be able to file a claim with your homeowner’s insurance company and receive reimbursement for the loss.
If your car is broken into and your belongings are stolen, your homeowner’s insurance may reimburse you up to 10% of your personal property coverage limit for losses away from your home. Of course, every insurance policy is different, so it’s important to read your policy carefully to see what’s covered. You should also be aware of any limits or exclusions that may apply. For example, many policies limit the amount they’ll pay for jewelry or other valuables.
It’s important to note that your homeowner’s insurance will not cover any damage to your car. For that, you’ll need to file a claim with your auto insurance company.
What To Do If Your Car Is Broken Into
Unfortunately, no matter how well you protect your car, there is always a chance of a break-in. If this happens, there’re a few things you should do:
- First, call the police and file a report. This is important even if nothing is missing from your car. They’ll take a report and investigate.
- Check to see if any personal items are missing and make a list of all the stolen items. This will simplify the claims process.
- Call your insurance company and let them know what happened. They’ll likely need to send an adjuster to assess the damage to your car.
- Take some time to assess the damage to your car and decide if you need to make any repairs or replacements. If so, your insurance company will likely reimburse you for these expenses.
- Finally, assess your security procedures. Are you keeping valuables in plain sight? Are your doors and windows locked? Do you have an anti-theft system? By taking some proactive steps, you can help to deter future break-ins. This personal car security camera system and dashcam from Owlcam is a great way to protect yourself in the future.
How to File a Claim for Items Stolen From Your Car
If you have a standalone personal property insurance policy, filing a claim for stolen items is typically a relatively simple process:
- First, call your insurance company and report the theft.
- Be sure to have the police report on hand, receipts, other proof of value, and a list of all the stolen items.
- Your insurance company will likely send an adjuster to assess the value of the stolen items.
- Once the insurer approves everything, you should receive a check for the value of the stolen items, up to your policy limit.
If you have any questions about your coverage or the claims process, be sure to reach out to your insurance company. They’ll be able to help you navigate the process and ensure that you get the compensation you deserve.
Tips for Preventing Car Break-Ins
Unfortunately, there is no guaranteed way to prevent your personal belongings from being stolen from your car. However, there are some things you can do to minimize the risk:
- Always lock your doors and close your windows when you leave your car. Even if you’re just running into the store for a quick errand, car thieves only take seconds to break into an unlocked vehicle.
- Never leave valuables in plain sight. If you have to leave something in your car, put it in the trunk or glove compartment.
- Consider investing in a security system for your car. Many modern vehicles have built-in security features, but you can also purchase aftermarket systems.
- Consider parking in well-lit, busy areas. This will deter thieves from targeting your car.
- Keep a record of your valuables, including make, model, and serial numbers. This will help the police identify stolen items and also simplify the claims process if you need to file a claim with your insurance company.
If your car is broken into, it can be a frustrating and upsetting experience. However, you can rest assured knowing that your personal belongings are covered if you have a standalone personal property insurance policy. Be sure to check with your insurer to find out the details of your coverage and get a complete list of excluded items.
At FIXD, our mission is to make car ownership as simple, easy, and affordable as possible. Our research team utilizes the latest automotive data and insights to create tools and resources that help drivers get peace of mind and save money over the life of their car.