Does homeowners insurance cover car theft?


No, if your car is stolen your auto insurance will cover it, not homeowners insurance. However, when personal belongings inside your car are stolen, your homeowners insurance will pay to replace them.

Kara McGinley


Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Property and Casualty Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is an insurance editor at Policygenius, specializing in home, auto, and renters insurance. She's been writing about insurance since 2019, and her work and insights have been referenced in Kiplinger and WRAL.com.

Published August 3, 2020|4 min read

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Your homeowners insurance does not cover your car, that’s what auto insurance is for. If your car is stolen, you should file a claim with your auto insurance company, which can help pay to replace your vehicle.

But what happens if your car was broken into and your belongings were stolen? Or if your car was stolen and your stuff was still inside? Would that be covered by auto insurance or homeowners insurance?

If your car is broken into, you would file a claim with your auto insurance company for the repairs to your vehicle. But if your personal property is stolen from your car, you’d need to file a claim with your homeowners insurance company.

Key Takeaways

  • Homeowners insurance doesn't cover your car, that’s what auto insurance does

  • Homeowners insurance does protect your personal property, even outside of your home

  • If your belongings are stolen out of your car your homeowners insurance will cover you up to your limits for off-premises coverage

Does homeowners insurance cover theft from a car?

Homeowners insurance protects your personal property from hazards like fire, vandalism, and theft. If your personal property is stolen, your homeowners insurance will help pay to replace it— even if it’s not stolen from inside your house.

Homeowners insurance covers your belongings wherever they are in the world, including if they’re in your car. For example, if your parked car is broken into and your backpack is stolen with your laptop inside, you can file a claim with your homeowners insurance for the cost of the computer and whatever else was in your bag.

If you have a replacement cost policy, your insurance company will reimburse you for any stolen items as if they were new. If you have an actual cash value policy, your insurer will pay you out the depreciated cost of your items, so your reimbursement for a five-year-old laptop would take into account the age and wear and tear of the item.

What is off-premises coverage?

Most standard homeowners insurance policies automatically include “off-premises coverage,” as part of your personal property coverage, which extends your coverage for your belongings anywhere in the world. Off-premises coverage limits are the maximum amount your insurance company will pay to replace any personal property that is damaged or stolen outside of your home.

Your off-premises limit may be 10% of your total personal property coverage, depending on your policy. For example, say you have $150,000 worth of personal property coverage, if your belongings are stolen while outside of your home, then you would be reimbursed up to $15,000 maximum.

Expensive belongings can also have their own sublimits, which is the maximum amount your insurance company will pay out for specific categories of items. For example, if your wedding ring is stolen out of your car, your homeowners insurance will likely have a sublimit for jewelry, so you may only be reimbursed up to $2,000, even if the ring is worth far more.

If you want more coverage for valuable or rare items you can add a scheduled personal property endorsement to your policy in order to extend coverage sublimits for specific items. A scheduled personal property endorsement is a good idea if you have expensive TVs, artwork, or jewelry.

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How to file a personal property claim for theft

You should file a police report for your stolen property before contacting your insurance company. Once you file the police report, you should contact your insurer either over the phone, through their website, or through their mobile app if it’s available. Once your insurance company confirms that your loss is covered, there are a few steps to take.

  • Fill out the claims forms, including a proof-of-loss form. You may have to submit photographic evidence of the loss, so it’s always a good idea to take pictures of the break-in or damage.

  • Provide documentation of what was stolen. You should try to provide receipts, recent photographs, or documentation from your home inventory.

  • Make temporary repairs if possible

  • You may need to meet with a claims adjuster. Depending on the severity and value of your stolen items, a claims adjuster may come out to assess what happened and confirm details with you.

If your car was damaged or stolen in addition to the theft of your belongings, you’ll have to file a claim with your car insurance company to cover any repairs to or reimbursement for your vehicle.

Does homeowners insurance cover my stolen car?

Homeowners insurance does cover theft, but a home insurance policy never covers your car or any other type of vehicle that you own. Homeowners insurance covers your personal belongings if they are stolen both on and off your property, like if your parked car is stolen with your cellphone inside, but it doesn’t cover the car itself.

If your car is stolen, your auto insurance may cover you, depending on your policy. Comprehensive coverage pays for damages and incidents that occur while you are not driving your car, including car theft. So if you have comprehensive coverage as part of your policy, your auto insurance will reimburse you for your car if it’s stolen.

If you lease your car or it’s financed with a car loan, you may want to look into gap insurance. Gap insurance will pay out the difference between the actual cash value and whatever you still owe on your car, so you aren’t left making payments on a car that has disappeared.

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