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Does car insurance cover theft and vandalism?

Auto insurance and theft

Your car is parked safely in the parking lot as you run into the grocery store – but when you return you find that your vehicle has been broken into and your belongings inside were stolen. One of the first questions you ask yourself is, “does auto insurance cover theft?”

Whether or not insurance covers theft can vary depending on the situation and the type of auto insurance you have. Comprehensive coverage will usually cover theft, as well as repair costs from break-in damages. Liability insurance likely won't cover theft, as it usually protects against bodily injury and property damage resulting from an accident.

Let's explore a few different scenarios to give you a better idea of what your car insurance will cover in the event of car theft.

Car theft and insurance scenarios

Scenario 1: Your car was damaged as a result of a break-in.

If you have comprehensive coverage, you’re in luck. Comprehensive insurance will typically cover repair costs for your vehicle, which may include:

  1. Broken door locks
  2. Smashed windows
  3. Broken ignition system

Scenario 2: Your car was stolen.

This situation also depends on the type of car insurance you have. If you have comprehensive coverage, your vehicle’s value will be covered.

Scenario 3: Your personal items were stolen from your car.

So, does car insurance cover stolen items? Unfortunately, it does not. Comprehensive auto insurance will only cover the components and features that are permanent, pre-installed parts of the car. It will not cover your own personal belongings left inside, such as an iPod or wallet. However, these items would likely be covered by a homeowners or renters insurance policy. If your car were stolen with personal items inside, you would need to file two different claims – one through your auto insurance and one through your homeowners insurance.

Does car insurance cover vandalism?

As long as you follow the appropriate steps, comprehensive car insurance will provide coverage in the unfortunate event your vehicle is vandalized. Here are the actions you should take immediately following the incident:

  1. Call the police to report the vandalism, as your car insurance company will require you to file a police report.
  2. Make note of all damages to your car and take pictures to document the destruction.
  3. Contact your auto insurance company to submit a claim. You will need to have the list of damages you compiled, pictures of the damages, and a list of any items that were stolen.

Taking the proper precautions will help to keep your car safe and reduce your chances of theft or vandalism. Get tips on how to prevent these situations in the future.

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