When Does Auto Insurance Cover Stolen Items

Here is a typical experience. You need to stop at the gas station to run in to grab milk. You leave your $500 handbag on the passenger seat. You’ll be gone for five minutes and can see your car. What could go wrong? Theft could. It takes moments for such an incident to occur. It could be a handbag, a wallet, electronic items, or other valuable items. Will auto insurance help cover these losses? Here’s what you should know first. 

When Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft? 
A typical car insurance policy covers theft in several situations. This includes: 

  • It may cover the car itself if someone steals it. It could pay for the replacement cost or a set fee based on the value of the car at the time of the loss. 
  • It may pay to cover the replacement of some items stolen from the vehicle. This includes car parts like the catalytic converter, a commonly stolen item. 
  • It covers the damage someone causes to your car during a break-in, such as glass breakage or damage to the locks. 

Your auto insurance may cover items used in the car. This includes the car stereo. It may also include things like your GPS system or customized wheels. 

Keep in mind, though, that this is all the coverage your typical car insurance policy will cover. Though some policies may have other coverage for the contents, most do not cover possessions. 

What About Personal Property in the Vehicle? 
Personal property in the vehicle is usually not a covered component under your comprehensive coverage. That means the handbag and everything within it may lack any type of protection under your policy. 

In this type of situation, you should file a police report to document the incident. Then, contact your home insurance agent.  

In some cases, your home insurance policy may cover items lost from your car through your vehicle. This might include items like your cell phone, video systems, your wallet and that purse. Coverage here may have some limitations, though. 

If you are unsure if you have car insurance coverage for any type of theft, call your agent to inquire. It can be very important to take steps to prevent theft from a vehicle. It is very common for this type of theft to occur. Most often, people believe nothing will happen. Yet, a simple incident like this can have expensive consequences.