Does Full Coverage Insurance Cover Theft of Items Inside the Car?

by Eric Bank
Car insurance normally doesn't cover items stolen from your vehicle.

It’s a comforting thought to have “full coverage” insurance for your car. Unfortunately, the term doesn't have any real meaning to insurers. Drivers often use the term as a synonym for a combination of policies that provide a wide range of protection. However, even if you have several types of policies, theft of items inside the car is seldom covered.

Full Coverage

When a driver refers to full coverage insurance, he’s likely speaking about a combination of liability, collision and comprehensive policies. Liability insurance covers the costs of damage you cause to others and to property as a result of a car accident. Collision insurance will help pay for damage your car sustains in an accident. Comprehensive coverage protects your car from a variety of threats, including storms, natural disasters, falling objects, theft -- of the car, not its contents -- hitting an animal and broken glass. You can buy additional riders to cover other costs, such as personal injury protection and rental reimbursement.

Theft of Contents

A comprehensive policy normally covers the theft of items attached to your car. For example, you’d be covered if thieves swooped in and stripped your car of its parts. Expensive cars are tempting targets for parts thieves, because the items stolen often fetch a high price in the black market. Your stereo is only covered if it’s the type that is permanently installed, not the type that can be detached. Some insurers provide optional coverage of stereo components for cars that have expensive systems installed. Auto insurance doesn't cover Items taken from your car, such as your computer or camera. Fortunately, homeowners or renters insurance covers the theft of valuable items left in your car.

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Homeowners Insurance

The standard homeowners policy has a section called “Coverage C” for personal property. This covers your personal property from damage and theft no matter where it occurs, including in your car. Theft of your car itself is not covered by this insurance. Coverage details vary by policy, but normally the amount protected under Coverage C is about 10 percent of the value of your home’s coverage. You need to check the fine print to see the exceptions and limits your policy sets. Pay particular attention to limits on items you use for your business. Renters insurance offers the same type of coverage for stolen items.

Filing a Claim

Unless the item stolen was of considerable value, you might not want to bother filing a claim. Most homeowners policies carry a deductible that helps to keep premiums down. This means that you must pay the first $500 or $1,000 out of your own pocket for replacement of stolen items. Another factor is that some insurers will raise your rates if you file a claim. If you do file, you’ll need to provide documentation that you actually owned the stolen item. Without a receipt or credit card statement, your insurer is unlikely to approve your claim. Also, check your policy to see if it pays out based on actual value or replacement value. You might be able to purchase a replacement value rider at an additional cost.

References

About the Author

Based in Greenville SC, Eric Bank has been writing business-related articles since 1985. He holds an M.B.A. from New York University and an M.S. in finance from DePaul University. You can see samples of his work at ericbank.com.

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how to file a mining claimw9 sole proprietorwhat is deeded landdonate dishwashercashier check vs money orderaverage salary of game wardenwhat does lis pendenscancelling gap insurancecashing a money order that was returnedrollover 401k to ira without leaving jobgmac lien release departmentohio tax refund statuswalmart food donation programhhsc houstonincome tax refund californiaencroachment real estate lawcan closing costs be included in mortgage loanfederal reserve wire transferwhat is a grantor on a deedbank of america cash advance debit cardcalculate pro rata salaryhardship letter for short sale due to divorce1099 misc nonemployee compensationhelp for senior citizens in floridadefinition stockbrokerflorida hazard insurancehow to freeze a debit cardwhat percent of a paycheck goes to taxesself employed 1099 formdifference between wire and eftweb authorized pmt cardmember servrent mailboxunused college scholarshipsirs mileage record keeping requirementsadvantages of budget deficitmortgage hazard insurance requirementsirs attorney feeshow long sr22 requiredboa visa cardform 8283 instructionsda form 2475what does a negative escrow balance meantime weighted return calculatorbelk credithow can i figure out my tax bracketeviction law texaswhat percent of tips does waitress claimis stock a liquid assethr block appointmentshow long before debt is written offdepreciation recapture calculatorusps money order expirationpell grant refundsscholarships for students with unemployed parentsprescribed easementseattle goodwill donation hoursfree green dot moneypak numbersitt tech scholarshipsuses of cost volume profit analysistithe tax deductiblepublix cash payroll checksis fica included in federal income taxdifference between land contract and rent to ownbasic finance and accounting conceptschecking accounts definitiondonating clothes to africaspecialty deedwww.gapcreditcardcancel direct debitsarizona landlord and tenant rights and responsibilities