As humans, we are often times careless with our possessions. We will park our car next to our office and forget that we left our cellphone in the cup holder, or our purse on the passenger side seat. Leaving valuable possessions in plain sight for thieves to see is stupid, but what’s even stupider is not being covered by your insurance in case one of those thieves decides to steal them.
Unfortunately, most auto insurance policies do not cover theft of personal possessions inside a vehicle. Car insurance polices will pay to replace your entire vehicle if it is stolen, sure, but when it comes to the possessions you left inside of it, you are out of luck!
The reason for this is that auto insurance is not intended to cover your personal property, other than your vehicle. It is meant to cover your car and your car only. So if you plan on leaving your laptop, your cellphone, your wallet, your golf clubs, etc. behind after you park for the day, you might want to think again!
Common Things Stolen From Cars
During most vehicle break-ins, thieves will take whatever valuables they can easily get away with. The most common things stolen in car break-ins include:
- Mobile phones
- Computers and laptops
- Car Stereo Systems
Of these items, most of them will not be covered if they are stolen. The only ones that probably will are the GPS and the stereo. That is because they are “built in” to the car and are actually considered to be part of the vehicle.
What Your Auto Insurance Covers
If you have comprehensive coverage as part of your car insurance policy, you will be protected from damages from theft. Comprehensive coverage covers things that aren’t related to collisions on the road. This can include fires, floods, hurricanes, vandalism, and theft. In some safe areas, comprehensive coverage might not be needed. In others, comprehensive insurance is all but mandatory.
Comprehensive coverage is what you need if you want to be protected from damages made by thieves. This means that if your car is in anyway damaged during the break-in, be it a scratched door, a broken window, a broken windshield, a ripped seat, a broken lock, or a broken mirror, your comprehensive coverage will pay for the damages (after your deductible).
If you added any aftermarket items to your vehicle that you would rather not get stolen (like an expensive stereo), you can also purchase an endorsement or added insurance coverage. Consider adding Custom Parts & Equipment (CPE) coverage if you add anything to your vehicle that is expensive and can be easily removed.
What Your Homeowners Insurance MIGHT Cover
Most people do not realize that their homeowners insurance policy also could cover things stolen from their vehicles.
Some homeowners insurance policies treat your car as an extension of your home. If it’s inside your car, it’s the equivalent of it being inside your home. Unfortunately, most home insurance policies have deductibles that are quite high, and are usually only meant to provide coverage for massive robberies. If you have a couple hundred dollar item stolen from your car, like an iPhone, chances are it will not meet the amount needed to file a claim.
Nevertheless, if you have personal property coverage and you want to see if possessions inside your car are covered if a crook decides to snag them, you should give your homeowners insurance company a ring to double check!
How To Protect Yourself From Thieves
There are many things you can install on your vehicle to protect it from thieves looking to break in. These include:
- Alarm systems
- LoJack / other types of locks
- Alarm sticker/LED
- Hidden Kill Switches
- Detachable steering wheel (so you can take it with you!)
You should also be sure to always keep your doors locked and your windows closed. Also don’t forget to close your sunroof! Other ways to prevent theft includes:
- Do not leave valuable possessions in plain sight. Put them under the seat or inside the trunk. The best policy is to take them with you when you leave your car!
- Cover or detach your stereo/GPS to prevent thieves from spotting them easily when they walk by your car.
Following these simple basic principles can prevent most auto break-ins! By keeping your car safe and out of thieves’ way, you won’t even need to worry about whether or not your insurance will cover this!