Q

Does homeowners insurance cover items stolen from my car?

A

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.

Pat Howard 1600Kara McGinley

By 

Pat Howard

Pat Howard

Senior Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Pat Howard is a senior editor and licensed home insurance agent 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.

 & Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is an editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

Updated February 28, 2022 | 2 min read

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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.