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Someone broke into my car. What does auto insurance cover?

Find out what insurance covers if someone smashes your window and breaks into your car. Stolen items may not be covered by your auto insurance company.

What auto insurance covers if someone breaks into your car and breaks the window

Someone broke into your car and several items were taken. Do you know what your auto insurance covers? If you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance company will most likely provide funds to repair any damage the burglar has done to your car. Typically, this includes broken widows, damaged locks and dismantled ignition systems. If your car is the stolen item, you'll be covered for the value of the vehicle. However, your coverage will most likely not provide monies for the items taken from within your car.

Comprehensive Insurance

Comprehensive coverage, contrary to its name, doesn't cover loose belongings inside the car. When it comes to replacing cell phones, iPads, iPods, iPhones, DVDs, CDs, laptop computers, purses and wallets, work tools, laptops, and any other items stolen, it's up to your homeowners or renters insurance to provide that coverage. This means you'll need to file two separate claims (and pay two separate deductibles) to get reimbursed for everything that was taken or damaged.

If you bundle your car insurance along with renters or homeowners coverage, you can save big on your policy. Find out how much you can save by getting free car insurance quotes from top insurance companies.

What is Covered by Comprehensive Car Insurance?

  • Car Insurance
  • Renters/Home Insurance
  • Shattered Windows
  • CDs, DVDs
  • Broken Locks
  • Laptop Computer
  • Stolen Stereo (Stock), GPS (Stock)
  • Sports Equipment
  • Tampered Ignition
  • iPod, iPad, iPhone, or other cell phone
  • Cosmetic Damage (Paint, Locks, Carpet)
  • Clothes, Expensive Sunglasses, Jewelry
  • Airbags
  • Work Tools
  • Broken Glove Box
  • Purse or Wallet
  • Video Systems (Stock)
  • Aftermarket Stereos, GPS System, Custom Wheels

Stolen Aftermarket Car Stereos and Accessories

If you have aftermarket components, like custom rims or upgraded stereo systems, it's crucial to speak with an agent to make sure these items are protected. Many policies only cover things that are permanently attached to your car, so electronic items that can be easily removed may not be covered.

Protect Yourself from a Car Break In

You can deter thieves from breaking into your car by:

  • Always locking the doors of your vehicle
  • Parking in a safe place (controlled access, well lit)
  • Keeping items out of plain sight (such as putting purchases, your GPS or phone charger in the trunk)
  • Reporting suspicious activity, such as someone loitering around your car

At QuoteWizard, we connect you with home and auto insurance agents that can bundle a truly comprehensive policy. It's stressful dealing with a break in, but even more so if you find out that your auto insurance won't replace everything that was stolen.

Learn more about home insurance or renters insurance and how you can protect yourself in the event of theft.

Q: What should I do if my car has been broken into?

A: Start with the following:

  • Call 911
  • Don't touch anything
  • File a police report
  • File a claim with your car insurance carrier, if there’s damage to your vehicle
  • Cancel any/all credit and debit cards that may have been stolen

Q: Will my rates go up if I file a claim after my car is broken into?

A: Depends. Please see our article on Minor Accidents for more information

Does car insurance cover broken windows?

A: Yes, however, you may want to price out repairs first prior to making a claim. If the repair cost is below, at or just above your deductible amount, you may want to consider paying for the repairs yourself.

Q: My friend’s car was broken into and some of my stuff was taken. Whose insurance pays?

A: Personal items in a car aren’t covered. If you have renters or homeowner’s insurance, then you can file a claim with them. Depending on what was taken and your deductible, it may or may not be in your best interest to file the claim. Be sure the amount you’ll be claiming is higher than the amount of your deductible as your renters or homeowner’s insurance premium may go up after you file the claim. Additionally, they may ask for proof of purchase for the items in your claim.

Q: My car was broken into at work. Does my employer have to pay?

A: No. It’s not possible in the eyes of the law to hold one party accountable for the actions of another unless the 1st party is somehow negligent and the act is a direct result of their negligence. Parking is an “at your own risk” activity.

Q: Does liability insurance cover theft of items left in car?

A: Liability car insurance only covers damage caused by your car.

Q: I left my car with the dealership for repairs and it was broken into. Are they responsible?

A: In general, no, they aren’t responsible. Most dealerships have signs posted asking customers to remove any personal items from their car and state they’re not responsible for damages or thefts.

Having said that, if you have evidence that proves liability, then you may have a case for getting monies from the dealership to compensate for the damage. Proving liability is tricky. You’ll need to prove that they had previous break-ins, knew about it, and did nothing to prevent the problem from happening again. And you’ll need to file a police report to document the damage.

Q: How often are cars stolen in the United States?

A: According to FBI statistics for 2012, a car was stolen every 44 seconds in the U.S.

Q: How many cars were stolen in 2012 in the United States?

A: The FBI estimates there were 721,053 thefts of motor vehicles nationwide in 2012.

REFERENCES

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