What happens if my belongings are stolen out of my car?

If you walk out to your car to find a smashed window, you’re probably understandably frustrated. Why would someone do this? And to add insult to injury, the thief stole some belongings out of the vehicle. You don’t have high hopes of seeing your property again. So, your question now is how are you going to replace those possessions? Will car insurance cover the cost of the stolen item? Let’s take a look at this unfortunate scenario.

Are belongings stolen out of your car covered by auto insurance?

Well…the answer to this question is most likely no. Unfortunately, auto insurance doesn’t cover items that are stolen from the vehicle. But before you get too outraged, let us give the full answer.

No, car insurance won’t cover belongings stolen from your car (no matter how much sense that would make). However, your home or renters insurance might. These two coverages typically include insurance for your personal property. And the nice thing about it is that the coverage usually follows your belongings wherever they are, whether they’re safely tucked away in your house or apartment or hanging out in the back of your car. So, if your stuff gets swiped from your vehicle, your home insurance or renters insurance could help you out. Yes, it seems logical that car insurance would cover car-related incidents, but in this case, it’s your home insurance.

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What does car insurance cover?

That might have you with this question: what will car insurance cover if your car is burgled?

Well, if you have comprehensive coverage, your car insurance could cover the broken/smashed window. Which is helpful. Comprehensive coverage is the coverage that can help you repair your car if you experience a loss that’s not an accident. Typically it covers losses like fire, vandalism, animal strikes, and falling objects.

(Oh, and theft. It can also cover theft. So, if your entire car is stolen, comprehensive coverage can help cover the cost of replacing the vehicle.)

Now, keep in mind that this would only be the case if you have comprehensive coverage. (If you have a car payment, your lender may require you to carry collision and comprehensive coverage.) If you only have liability coverage, you would probably not be covered for the broken window or a stolen car.

Anyways – the moral of the story is that it’s a good idea to consider getting collision and comprehensive coverage.

Don’t forget about your deductible.

So, there’s another thing you have to think about when you’re filing a claim because someone stole your belongings from your car – your deductible.

Your home insurance deductible is the amount that you agree to pay if you have a claim. You have your portion of the loss and the insurance company has theirs. So, let’s say you have a $500 home insurance deductible, and then you have a $3,750 loss. Now, it’s a covered loss, so insurance is going to pay out. In this scenario, you’d pay $500 and the insurance company would pay $3,250.

The point is that unless you’ve had a lot of expensive stuff stolen from your car, you may not reach your deductible amount, so it may not be worth filing a claim. That’s just something to be aware of in this particular scenario. (The same goes for your car insurance deductible if you need to get the broken window fixed. The cost of the repair may not exceed your deductible.)

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So, that’s the deal if your belongings are stolen from your car. For such scenarios, you’d have to turn to your home insurance, not your auto insurance, to be compensated for the lost belongings. However, if your car is actually stolen, your comprehensive coverage could help you out with the loss. And your comprehensive coverage could help you replace the window if it was smashed as part of a break-in. Hopefully that helps clarify the issue!

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