Does home insurance cover car break-ins?

Yes, if someone breaks into your car and steals your laptop, golf clubs, or anything else you own, your homeowners insurance policy can help pay for its replacement.

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Pat HowardManaging Editor & Licensed Home Insurance ExpertPat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.&Rachael BrennanSenior Editor & Licensed Auto Insurance ExpertRachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

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Jennifer GimbelJennifer GimbelSenior Managing Editor & Home Insurance ExpertJennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.
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Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®Certified Financial PlannerIan Bloom, CFP®, RLP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, he was a financial advisor at MetLife and MassMutual.

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In addition to covering your home itself, homeowners insurance also covers your personal belongings inside your house and anywhere else in the world — including items stolen from your car. 

That means if someone smashes your car window and takes off with your belongings, it's your homeowners insurance — not your auto insurance — that would pay to replace everything. The comprehensive coverage portion of your auto insurance would pay for the broken window and any other vehicular damage, but personal property theft is generally covered under your home or renters insurance policy.

Key takeaways

  • Homeowners insurance covers your personal possessions inside and outside of your home, including items stored in your car.

  • If someone breaks into your car and steals your clothes, jewelry, holiday gifts, or anything else you own, your policy’s personal property coverage can reimburse you.

  • Your insurance company will pay up to 10% of your personal property coverage limit for losses away from your property. This is known as your off-premises coverage.

  • Your auto insurance covers you if your car is damaged or stolen during the break-in.

Does homeowners insurance cover theft from my car?

Yes, your home insurance policy’s personal property coverage covers your belongings (clothes, appliances, furniture, etc) stored at home or anywhere else in the world against covered perils. Theft is one of 16 covered perils under the personal property section of your policy, so theft from your car is generally covered.

However, most policies come with lower coverage limits if your personal belongings are damaged or stolen away from your home. This is known as your off-premises coverage limit. 

Additionally, certain types of expensive valuables come with special limits of liability, meaning your insurance company will only pay out a relatively limited amount for high-value items like jewelry, furs, or art.

Off-premises coverage

Most standard homeowners insurance policies come with off-premises coverage that extends your personal property coverage to belongings outside of your home, such as inside your parked car or vacation rental. 

Most policies come with an off-premises coverage limit of 10% of your personal property coverage limit. That means if you have $150,000 in personal property coverage, you’d have up to $15,000 in off-premises coverage to replace property that’s damaged or stolen from your car.

Special limits of liability

Expensive valuables — like jewelry, watches, electronics, and firearms — often come with sublimits, which is the maximum amount your insurance will pay for loss of a particular type of item. 

In most cases, jewelry limits are capped at $2,500. So if your wedding ring is stolen out of your car, homeowners insurance will only pay up to $2,500 for its replacement, even if the ring is worth far more.

If you own precious valuables or other expensive items with sublimits, consider adding a scheduled personal property coverage endorsement or personal articles floater to your policy to increase coverage limits and protect against additional losses like mysterious loss or disappearance.

Some insurance policies have off-premises theft exclusions

If you live in a city or ZIP code with a relatively high crime rate, off-premises theft may be listed as an exclusion on your policy. Be sure to read your policy to learn about how you’re covered for losses outside of your home.

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How to file a claim for items stolen from your car

In the event someone breaks into your car and steals your stuff, the first thing you’ll need to do is call the police. Your insurance company will likely require a police report as proof of the incident. 

Once you do this, contact your insurer to begin the claim process. From there, be sure to do the following to expedite your home insurance claim and get your life back to normal.

  • Fill out claim paperwork. You’ll have to fill out a proof of loss form detailing what was stolen. If possible, include receipts or a home inventory list. The more evidence of ownership you have, the better your chances are of getting reimbursed for everything that was stolen. 

  • Provide photo or video documentation. When you submit your proof of loss form, be sure to include pictures or videos of your vehicle if it was damaged in the break-in, along with photos of your stolen belongings.  

  • Make temporary repairs. Once you’ve filed your police report and you’ve notified your home and car insurance companies of the theft, take your car in for temporary repairs to avoid further losses.

  • Prepare for the insurance adjuster. Depending on the severity and value of your stolen items, a claims adjuster may contact you to confirm details of the incident before coming back with a settlement offer.

Frequently asked questions

Does homeowners insurance cover cyber theft?

Homeowners insurance often includes some coverage for things like credit card fraud and check forgery, but the specifics of what is covered (and what isn’t) depend on the details of your policy. Ask your insurer about adding a fraud coverage endorsement to your policy for additional coverage against cyber theft.

Will homeowners insurance cover stolen tools from your car?

If your tools or any other belongings are stolen from your vehicle, home insurance can help pay to replace them up to the off-premises coverage limits in your policy. Any damage to your vehicle during the incident would be covered by auto insurance — not home insurance.

Does homeowners insurance cover a stolen wallet?

If your wallet is stolen, home insurance can help cover the cost of a new one — whether from your car or home. Most policies only cover up to $500 in cash losses, and if your deductible is equal to or any higher than that amount, you won’t be able to file a claim for reimbursement unless you have additional stolen property to report.

Authors

Pat Howard is a managing editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where he specializes in homeowners insurance. His work and expertise has been featured in MarketWatch, Real Simple, Fox Business, VentureBeat, This Old House, Investopedia, Fatherly, Lifehacker, Better Homes & Garden, Property Casualty 360, and elsewhere.

Rachael Brennan is a senior editor and a licensed auto insurance expert at Policygenius. Her work has also been featured in MoneyGeek, Clearsurance, Adweek, Boston Globe, The Ladders, and AutoInsurance.com.

Editor

Jennifer Gimbel is a senior managing editor and home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she oversees our homeowners insurance coverage. Previously, she was the managing editor at Finder.com and a content strategist at Babble.com.

Expert reviewer

Ian Bloom, CFP®, RLP®, is a certified financial planner and a member of the Financial Review Council at Policygenius. Previously, he was a financial advisor at MetLife and MassMutual.

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