Will my car insurance cover stolen goods from my car?

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Here's what you need to know...
  • Normally car insurance policies do not cover stolen property from your vehicle
  • Some car insurance providers offer additional coverage through policies called riders
  • To protect your personal property, you should invest in a homeowners or renter’s policy

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.

Thieves who target personal goods 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.

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What does my car insurance cover?

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There are two types of car insurance:

The minimum coverage is only intended to cover the victims of an accident and their real property; it doesn’t cover your personal property above and beyond the car itself.

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.

To protect your personal property, purchase homeowners or renters insurance.

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

A standard homeowner’s insurance policy covers almost all of your personal property, including 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 regarding deductible amounts, and in many cases, renters insurance will cover stolen goods at a lower cost 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?

Car thief

Your policy covers only your personal property unless otherwise specified.

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!

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