Does Car Insurance Cover Theft of Personal Items?
No, it is unlikely that a person's auto insurance policy will afford coverage to personal items or belongings stolen from his or her vehicle. That said, if the stolen item is a physical component of the insured vehicle's original manufacturing, then comprehensive coverage may be used to repair or replace that damaged or stolen item.
If your stolen items are not part of the vehicle itself, you may be able to find coverage and file a claim with your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy.
This can be a problem if you leave something valuable such as a laptop in your car and the laptop or the whole car is stolen. It is important to be aware of what is covered and what isn’t.
What Does My Auto Insurance Cover?
If your car is stolen, your insurance company will pay for the replacement of your vehicle, but not the personal things inside it. Comprehensive coverage is what pays for your stolen vehicle.
Your auto insurance covers any items that are permanently attached to your vehicle, such as a dash navigation system that came with the vehicle. Portable and removable items such as an external GPS do not fit into this category.
Your insurance company must be aware of everything on your vehicle, so if you added a stereo to your vehicle, you have to have told your agent about the upgrade prior to the theft. They may ask you to add an endorsement to your policy to cover any custom equipment.
What Does My Homeowners Insurance Cover?
While it sounds strange, your homeowners or renters insurance actually could help you recover stolen items from your vehicle. If you have proof that you owned the items that were lost when your car was stolen such as receipts, your belongings should be covered. You will have to file a police report and follow all official procedures before you can reach a settlement and collect from your insurance.
The drawback with using your homeowners insurance to recover the value of lost property left in your car is that homeowners typically has a pretty high deductible. If you only lost a few items, it probably won’t be worthwhile to use your homeowners coverage.
The best practice for unattached valuable items is to never leave them in your vehicle. For added attached items, just be sure that your insurance company is aware of them and ask if you need a special endorsement for them to be covered.
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