christmas presents stolen from car

“I had Christmas presents stolen out of my car and I need to file a claim on my auto insurance.”

I get this call frequently during the holiday season as vehicle break-ins increase during this time of year. If you plan on doing a lot of holiday shopping and leaving your new purchases in the vehicle, be advised! Your auto insurance policy does not cover personal property stolen from your vehicle. This is true regardless of your insurance carrier!

Property stolen out of your car is covered by your renters insurance or homeowner policy.

If you do not have homeowner or renters insurance, you have no coverage for property stolen out of your vehicle.   10% of your personal property coverage on your renters or homeowner policy extends to off-premises coverages, which includes property stolen from your car or away from your residence.  In other words, if you have $20,000 of personal property coverage on your renter’s policy, you would have $2000 of coverage for property stolen from your vehicle–after you pay your deductible, of course.

Related Article: How to Choose Personal Property Coverage

You do not want to file an insurance claim unless the items stolen from your vehicle exceed your deductible.  This means if your deductible is $500, you must have over $500 worth of items stolen from your vehicle.  Remember, your insurance company is only responsible to replace your property at the value of the property prior to the loss.  For example, if your 5 year old iPad is stolen from your car, your insurance company is not required to compensate you for a brand new i-pad.  Your insurance company would give you the value of the 5 year old iPad.  If stolen items do not exceed your deductible, you do not want to file a claim.  If you continually file claims, even claims that result in a $0 payout from your insurance company, your insurance rates may increase. Read more about when to file an insurance claim here.

If you must leave personal property and newly purchased items in your car, be sure to hide them in the trunk or under blankets where there is limited visibility. It’s always a good idea to know how much personal property coverage you have on your homeowner or renters policy to make sure it is enough.

Whatever you decide to do this year, be smart and be aware! If you have any questions, give me a call!


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Cheri Roman
Cheri Roman
I’m a graduate of the University of Texas & have a master’s degree in Business Administration from Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi. As a former teacher, I believe in educating my clients about insurance and investment options, and partnering with them to protect their family and achieve their financial goals.

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