Does Car Insurance Cover Personal Item Theft?

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When does my car insurance cover theft?
How does my car insurance cover item theft from my vehicle?
How much of my item theft claim will be covered by my car insurance?
How much do I have to pay if my car insurance doesn't cover item theft?
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When does my car insurance cover item theft?

I was in the grocery store and when I got back to my car I realized that someone had broken into my car and stolen a bunch of stuff I had in the car. Will my car insurance cover stolen items? 

The answer to this question is not black and white. Your car insurance will not cover personal items that are stolen from your car. However, depending on your insurance coverage and the scenario in which your car is burglarized, you may get some coverage from your insurance. Let me explain. 

Comprehensive coverage: This coverage also known as "other than collision" coverage, is made to cover the costs of repairs and replacement for damage that is not caused by a collision with another car. If you have comprehensive coverage and your belongings being stolen out of your car also resulted in broken door locks, broken windows or a broken ignition system, then your comprehensive coverage will cover the repair costs to your vehicle, but it will not cover the cost of the stolen items.

Comprehensive insurance will also cover any permanent or installed parts of the car that are stolen, such as your radio. 

How does my car insurance cover item theft from my vehicle? 

I left my laptop in my car after class and I went to the mall with some friends. When I got back to my car, my window was broken and my laptop was stolen. How will my car insurance cover me in this situation? 

The short answer is that it doesn't. Your car insurance will never cover personal items being stolen out of your car. However, your homeowners insurance will, so we can talk about how that happens. 

Every homeowners policy has personal property coverage that will pay for the replacement of damaged or stolen personal property, whether it's in your home or not. 

Once you realize your car has been broken into, you can call your homeowners insurance to let them know your laptop was stolen and they'll start the claims process for getting it replaced. 

Your next will be to your car insurance company to let them know that your car was broken into. You'll want to make sure to let them know that your window was broken.

If you have comprehensive coverage, then your insurance will pay to replace the window that was broken. In order to do this, they'll work with you to have an approved body shop repair your car window.

How much of my item theft claim will be covered by my car insurance? 

I left my bike in my car while I was at work and someone broke the handle of my door, got in my car, and stole my bike. How much of the damage will be covered by my car insurance?

Since your car insurance will not cover personal items, they will not cover your bike being stolen. However, if you file a claim against your comprehensive coverage for the damage to your door handle, your car insurance will cover the total price to repair your door handle, minus your deductible. Depending on your insurance policy, your deductible can be anywhere from a couple hundred dollars to several thousand. 

If you decide to make a claim against your homeowners policy for your stolen bike, your homeowners policy will pay the replacement value that you've set in your homeowners insurance for stolen items, minus your deductible. 

How much do I have to pay if my car insurance doesn't cover item theft? 

My wallet was stolen out of my car while I was camping. I had several hundred dollars in my wallet, and my car lock was broken. How much will I have to pay for this incident? 

Unfortunately, you're not going to get your $300 dollars back from any insurance company. So you'll be out that money as well as the cost to replace any credit cards or IDs that were in your vehicle. 

If you decide to file a claim for your broken car lock, you'll be responsible to pay for your deductible, which can be several hundred to several thousand dollars. 

If it's not expensive to fix your lock, I recommend not going through your insurance and simply paying to fix the lock out of pocket. 

If basic car insurance doesn't cover item theft, what will? 

It sounds like car insurance will never cover my personal items, and I don't have a homeowners policy. What can I do to get coverage for potential stolen items? 

If you don't own a home and don't have a homeowners insurance policy, you're going to have a hard time finding coverage for your personal items. Sometimes a renters insurance policy will cover your personal items when they're in or outside your home. 

These are your only options when it comes to having insurance on your personal items. If you're not in a situation to have personal property insurance through a homeowners or renters policy, I recommend being cautious about what personal items you leave in your vehicle. It's best to keep your personal items on you and not left in your vehicle. 

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TrustedChoice.com Article | Reviewed by Paul Martin

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