If Personal Items are Stolen from my Car are they Covered?
No one is immune to having their cars broken into. What many people don’t know is that theft of personal items from your car is not covered by your auto insurance. Are you surprised? Let me explain. Theft of personal items from your car can happen at any time or anyplace. In fact, it’s common for auto break-ins to happen right in your driveway or on the street in front of your house. Thirty-six percent of all larceny police reports are for items stolen from parked cars. The two types of items stolen are personal items such as cell phones, wallets or purses, and items stolen off the car that are permanently attached such as airbags or factory installed electronics.
Here’s an overview of the types of auto insurance coverages.
Collision Coverage: Covers a crash or collision with another vehicle or a stationary object. Collision only covers the damage to your own vehicle
Liability Coverage: Will help pay for damages or injuries to another vehicle, property or person.
Comprehensive Coverage: Covers damage to your vehicle other than collisions such as natural disasters or storm damage, theft of your vehicle, vandalism, animal strikes and fallen objects. If your car is damaged during a break in this type of coverage would pay for repairs to your automobile.
So, if none of the above auto policies cover the theft of personal items from your car then how is it covered. Theft of personal items from your vehicle is actually covered by your homeowners, renters or condo insurance not your auto insurance. That’s because your homeowners or renters insurance covers stolen personal property outside the home even if the items are stolen from your car. If you are a renter this is one big reason to get renters insurance.
Here’s an auto theft example will help clarify which type of policy covers the losses or damages in the event of a vehicle break-in.
Example: Your car is parked on the street and someone pops out the lock to gain entry. They steal your laptop computer, your cell phone, and your expensive watch. The thief also rips the factory installed stereo from the dash. Here’s how you’re covered.
- Dents scratches and damages to the vehicle by the thief – Comprehensive Auto
- Replacement and repair of the car for the stolen factory installed stereo – Comprehensive Auto
- Replacement of laptop, cell phone and expensive watch – Homeowners, Condo, or Renters Insurance
One thing to consider before filing a claim for items stolen from your car is the amount of your deductible. If the stolen items do not exceed the amount of your deductible then you may choose not to file the claim and instead pay for the loss out-of-pocket.
Protection for personal items is a good reason to get renters insurance and it’s not very expensive or hard to get. To find out more about renters insurance talk to your insurance agent. Talk with an insurance advisor to make sure all of your personal property is covered.
We look forward to speaking with you and helping you understand your insurance and your options.