Car break-ins are the most common crime in America. Learn what your insurance will and will not cover if someone breaks into your car.
What if someone broke into your vehicle and took whatever was inside? Do you know what your insurance covers? If you have comprehensive coverage, your insurance company will most likely pay to repair any damage the burglar has done to your car.
Typically, this includes broken windows, damaged locks and dismantled ignition systems. If your vehicle is stolen, your insurer will pay you its value (if you have comprehensive coverage).
However, even comprehensive coverage does not pay to replace the belongings taken from within your car. This requires additional insurance coverage: either renters insurance or homeowners insurance.
Comprehensive coverage, contrary to its name, doesn't cover loose belongings inside the car. When it comes to replacing cell phones, tablets, iPods, laptop computers, purses and wallets, work tools, 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 obtain a reimbursement for all the damages.
If you have aftermarket components, a GPS, or upgraded stereo system, it's crucial to speak with an agent to make sure that your policy covers these items. Many policies only cover things that attach permanently to your car, so electronic items that are easily removable may not be covered.
You can deter thieves from breaking into your car by:
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 the stolen items.
A: Start with the following:
A: Depends. Please see our article on Minor Accidents for more information
A: Yes, however, you may want to price out repairs before 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.
A: Personal items in a car aren’t covered by auto insurance. If you have renters or homeowner’s insurance, then you can file a claim for your items. Depending on the stolen items 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.
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.
A: Liability car insurance only covers damage caused by your car.
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 money 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.
A: According to FBI statistics for 2013, a car theft occurred every 45 seconds in the U.S.
A: The FBI estimates there were nearly 700,000 thefts of motor vehicles nationwide in 2013.
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