Covering Stolen Goods with Car Insurance

Thursday May 19, 2016

BridgetHetchlerHeadshot"Most people at least know of someone whose car has been broken into and items stolen. What most people don't know is that your homeowners policy not your auto policy is the best bet to replace these items. Read this article to learn more about what to do in the event of a auto break in." Bridget Hetchler | bhetchler@peabodyinc.com Article Courtesy of Carinsurancecomparison.com If you have any goods or personal property stolen from your car, don’t count on your car insurance company to pay for their replacement. Car insurance policies are not intended to provide coverage for personal property in most circumstances. If you have the bad habit of leaving things in your car that could be inviting to thieves, your best bet is to find a way to break yourself of the habit before a theft occurs. If you absolutely must leave valuable items in your car for any reason, find a way to hide them from view. You might consider using your trunk, hiding items under the seat, or even locking them in the glove compartment if they will fit. Also be sure to roll up windows and locks the doors. "Thieves who target such personal goods usually prefer quick entry and exit, so if they cannot see goods in your car, or if those goods are too difficult to get quickly, they will more than likely move on to an easier target."

What does my car insurance cover?

There are two types of car insurance: minimum liability and comprehensive coverage. Minimum liability insurance is what is required by each individual state to protect against bodily injury, property damage, and uninsured/underinsured drivers. The minimum coverage is only intended to cover the victims of an accident and their real property; it also protects you in case of bodily injury. It doesn’t cover your personal property above and beyond the car itself. Comprehensive insurance is intended to cover the repair or replacement cost of your vehicle if it’s damaged in an accident or fire, or stolen. Since personal items left in your car are not directly related to repairing or replacing it, they will not be covered by your car insurance policy unless your particular provider allows you to purchase such coverage as a rider. But don’t worry; you’re not left out in the cold regarding personal property if you have homeowners or renters insurance.

Will my homeowner’s policy cover goods stolen out of my car?

A standard homeowner’s insurance policy does indeed cover almost all of your personal property. This would include items stolen from your car, your boat, a hotel room, etc. The only downside to this is the fact that the deductible on most homeowner’s policies is rather substantial. Unless the value of the goods stolen from your car is relatively high, it might be cheaper for you to replace them out-of-pocket rather than pay the deductible and have your insurance company replace them. Renter’s insurance policies tend to be somewhat less expensive in terms of deductible amounts. "In many cases, renters insurance will cover stolen goods at a much lower cost threshold than a homeowner’s policy." Obviously, renters insurance will vary from one provider to the next, and your policy may or may not have a substantial deductible. Regardless, renters insurance covers personal property in the same way a homeowners policy does.

What if the stolen goods belong to someone else?

Let’s just say, for the sake of discussion, that your friend’s laptop was stolen from back seat of your car. Will your homeowner’s policy cover it? In all likelihood, no. Your policy covers only your own personal property unless otherwise specified. Your friend would have to seek payment from his own homeowner’s or renter’s policy, if he has one. If not, he would be out of luck unless he signed up for some sort of insurance coverage at the time he purchased the computer. Covering personal property that might be stolen is something that’s been offered for boat insurance policies for some time. Knowing that, it is possible that some insurance providers that cover both boats and cars would be willing to add extra coverage to your car policy to take care of stolen goods. The availability of such extra coverage will be limited, and you’ll probably have to do quite a bit of research in order to find car insurance companies willing to go this route. Since car insurance does not normally cover stolen goods, the best thing you can do is simply not leave valuable items in your car. In effect, you are self-insuring whenever you do so. Encourage your friends to do the same – especially when it comes to leaving items in your car! Article Courtesy of: Carinsurancecomparison.com