Jessica Sautter is a Content Writer for CarInsuranceCompanies.com with a Bachelor’s Degree from Eastern Michigan University in Elementary Education with a Major in Reading and a Minor in Mathematics.

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Chris Harrigan has an economic degree from Limestone College and an MBA from Clemson University. He previously managed auto insurance claims for Enterprise Rent-A-Car. Currently, he is using his business and insurance expertise to provide insurance data analysis and visualizations to enhance the user experience.

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Reviewed by Chris Harrigan
Former Auto Insurance Claims Manager

UPDATED: Oct 13, 2020

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Here's what you need to know...

  • Your car insurance is designed to protect your vehicle under traditional circumstances
  • If your vehicle is damaged due to a break-in or is stolen, the damages may be covered under your comprehensive coverage
  • However, this coverage protects your vehicle, not your personal belongings that you left inside it
  • Personal items that are permanently attached to your car may be considered a part of your car
  • If you attach aftermarket or non-original equipment manufacturer parts to your car you may need to consider adding these items to your policy to get them covered

There are many times personal items are left in a car, such as when you run into the office or the grocery store. However, there are times where your car may be stolen or broken into, and your personal items may be stolen, damaged, or otherwise lost during the process.

In a situation where your car is stolen or broken into, then your car insurance may not cover your stolen personal items; meaning you will need to look at other coverage options.

To compare coverage options from multiple companies at once, enter your zip code above!

Does car insurance cover stolen personal items?

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There are some situations that your car insurance may provide limited coverage for your personal items. For example, if the item that has been stolen is a sound system designed to be permanently affixed to your car, then your insurance company may consider this a permanent part of your car.

If you have comprehensive coverage on your policy, then you may have coverage for incidents like this.

The coverage provided under auto insurance policies varies from provider to provider, which means you need to discuss your coverage concerns with any current or potential provider.

If you make alterations to your car, such as adding in aftermarket or non-original equipment manufacturer parts, it’s your responsibility to talk to your provider about this. They may require a policy endorsement to provide extended coverage to these upgrades.

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Does car insurance exclude stolen personal items?

In many situations, personal items are not going to be covered under your personal auto insurance.

This is mainly because your auto insurance policy was created to protect your car, any damages you may cause while in your vehicle, or unexpected damages that can occur to your car.

This means your car insurance is not written to protect your personal items.

If you have concerns about your personal items being covered while they are in your vehicle, it’s important to look at your other insurance coverage options; such as homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance.

Homeowner’s insurance is a policy designed to protect the structure of the average home as well as your personal belongings when they are in the home or when they are outside the home.

Renter’s insurance is similar to a homeowner’s policy, except that it primarily protects your personal property; it does not protect the structure of the rented residence.

These policy types are designed with your personal items in mind, which means they can help you recover from loss due to theft, regardless of if that loss was in the home or outside the home.

In most scenarios, your homeowner’s or renter’s policy will provide coverage when your items are stolen from your car. Your potential or current insurance provider can explain how these policy types work when it comes to protecting your belongings.

What options do you have to protect your personal items?

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It’s important to research the coverage your policies provide before an incident occurs, then evaluate if that coverage is adequate.

If you are planning to attach personal items, such as a sound system, to your vehicle, your insurance provider may require a policy endorsement before your car insurance will provide coverage.

As mentioned earlier, an endorsement is a form that is added to your current insurance policy that changes the terms of the standard auto policy.

For instance, when you add that new and expensive sound system to your car, your provider may need to get some information about the equipment and the cost to add into your policy. This allows the scope of your policy to be expanded; providing coverage to your items in the event of theft or other losses.

Policy endorsements are a great way to protect items that are going to become a part of your car, but these are not the best solution for personal property that you move back and forth.

If this is the case, then you will want to consider an insurance policy designed to protect personal items; normally a renter’s or homeowner’s insurance policy.

Take the time to discuss your needs and your risk exposure with your current or potential insurance provider. They can help you determine the amount of insurance coverage and the policy types that are best for your needs.

Conclusion

Finding ways to protect your personal belongings is often as important as protecting your vehicle, but your car insurance does not always protect your personal items.

In some of these situations, your car insurance may be an option, but there are other policy options available to you if your car insurance does not provide coverage.

If you are concerned about the loss or theft of your personal belongings, consider speaking to your potential or current insurance provider about a homeowner’s, renter’s, or another personal property policy.

An insurance provider should be able to speak to you further about the options available that best meet your needs. Enter your zip code below to find the best car insurance rates in your area today!