Will my car insurance cover the theft of items from my car?

It's very rare to find car insurance that covers theft of personal items from the car. Comprehensive insurance covers theft of items attached to the car, but usually personal items are not covered. A homeowner's insurance policy will cover such theft, but deductibles can be as high as $2,000.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

UPDATED: Jun 2, 2022

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right coverage choices.

Advertiser Disclosure: We strive to help you make confident car insurance decisions. Comparison shopping should be easy. We are not affiliated with any one car insurance company and cannot guarantee quotes from any single company.

Our partnerships don’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own. To compare quotes from top car companies please enter your ZIP code above to use the free quote tool. The more quotes you compare, the more chances to save.

Written By: Laura BerryReviewed By: Joel OhmanUPDATED: Jun 2, 2022Fact Checked

Here's what you need to know

  • Normally car insurance policies do not cover property stolen from your vehicle
  • Some car insurance providers offer additional coverage through policies called riders
  • To protect your personal property, you should invest in a homeowners or renter’s policy

Does liability insurance cover theft? No, it doesn’t, but comprehensive coverage may. It all depends on your policy.

If you have any goods or personal property stolen from your car, don’t count on your car insurance company to pay for their replacement.

Car insurance policies are not intended to provide coverage for personal property in most circumstances.

If you have the bad habit of leaving things in your car that could be inviting to thieves, your best bet is to find a way to break yourself of the habit before a theft occurs.

If you absolutely must leave valuable items in your car for any reason, find a way to hide them from view.

Thieves who target personal goods prefer quick entry and exit, so if they cannot see goods in your car, or if those goods are too difficult to get quickly, they will more than likely move on to an easier target.

What does my car insurance cover?

Does liability coverage cover theft? If my car is stolen does my insurance cover it? To answer these questions, let’s look at the different types of car insurance.

There are two types of car insurance:

  • Minimum liability coverage – Required by each individual state to protect against bodily injury, property damage, and uninsured/underinsured drivers
  • Comprehensive coverage – Covers the replacement or repair cost of your vehicle if it’s damaged in an accident or fire, or stolen

The minimum coverage limits are only intended to cover the victims of an accident and their real property; it doesn’t cover your personal property above and beyond the car itself.

Since personal items left in your car are not directly related to repairing or replacing it, they will not be covered by your car insurance policy unless your particular provider allows you to purchase such coverage as a rider.

To protect your personal property, purchase homeowners’ or renters’ insurance.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

Will my homeowner’s policy cover items stolen out of my car?

A standard homeowners insurance policy covers almost all of your personal property, including items stolen from your car, your boat, a hotel room, etc.

The only downside to this is the fact that the deductible on most homeowners’ policies is rather substantial.

Unless the value of the goods stolen from your car is relatively high, it might be cheaper for you to replace them out-of-pocket rather than pay the deductible and have your insurance company replace them.

Renter’s insurance policies tend to be somewhat less expensive regarding deductible amounts, and in many cases, renters insurance will cover stolen goods at a lower cost than a homeowner’s policy.

Obviously, renters insurance will vary from one provider to the next, and your policy may or may not have a substantial deductible.

Regardless, renters insurance covers personal property in the same way a homeowners policy does.

What if the stolen items belong to someone else?

Your policy covers only your personal property unless otherwise specified.

Since car insurance does not normally cover stolen goods, the best thing you can do is simply not leave valuable items in your car. In effect, you are self-insuring whenever you do so.

Encourage your friends to do the same especially when it comes to leaving items in your car!

Does auto insurance cover cellphone theft?

Depending on the type of auto insurance policy you may have, you may be covered in the event of theft. For example, a stolen cell phone is typically not covered by comprehensive car insurance.

However, comprehensive insurance will cover the theft of items attached to the vehicle. The average cost of comprehensive coverage is $160 a year, or $13 a month.

  • Basic liability insurance will not cover stolen cell phones
  • Comprehensive insurance will usually not cover cellphones and other personal items stolen from your vehicle
  • You can talk with your insurance agent to see if your plan will cover a stolen cell phone
  • Stolen cell phones are usually not covered under your comprehensive car insurance coverage. The average cost of comprehensive coverage is $160 a year, or just $13 a month.

When shopping for car insurance, almost all consumers choose to go with the lowest-priced policies. Even with full coverage, many car insurance policies don’t include the type of coverage that protects policyholders from vandalism and theft.

Without personal property coverage, theft coverage, or a policy that includes vandalism protection, getting an insurance check to replace your stolen phone is not possible. Car insurance does cover vandalism, however.

To be reimbursed for a phone stolen from car, you will need to be certain that you have the proper type of coverage.

Liability car insurance provides drivers with insurance to pay for damages that they might cause by hitting someone’s car or private property.

Collision coverage for an auto policy is a little more substantive. This is because collision insurance can help policyholders to offset any costs incurred as a result of damage done to their own vehicles as well as others in an auto accident.

Comprehensive auto insurance pays for bodily harm damage and almost always includes property theft and vandalism coverage, but usually not covered for personal items like phones.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

How do I find out if I have personal property and theft coverage on my car insurance policy?

When a new car insurance policy is issued, the purchaser receives a copy of the policy either by mail or in person. Before the policy is instated, the policyholder must sign a form stating that all the information was reviewed and noted.

You will see a complete breakdown of the insurance policy details and clauses included. Policyholders also have the ability to talk to their insurance agent to see exactly what type of protection is included in their car insurance policies.

The Insurance Information Institute auto theft report of 2014 reveals how many cars have been stolen in the last few years and how effective anti-theft devices are as a deterrent for vandalism.

If you have purchased comprehensive coverage for your vehicle, any forms of theft will be covered by your insurance provider.

What steps can I take after my phone is stolen from my car?

As soon as you notice that your phone is missing, you should consider the following:

  • Tracking – If your cell phone carrier has the ability to track your stolen phone, this should provide helpful information during the investigation.
  • Shut off service – If tracking is not possible, have the service shut off to your phone until you are able to get a replacement.
  • Call your insurer – Submitting an insurance claim for stolen personal property can usually be done over the phone.
    • You may need to give an oral or written statement describing the events that occurred directly before and after you noticed that your phone was gone.
    • If your car was vandalized in any way, you will also need to submit an insurance claim so that repairs can be performed.

The Better Business Bureau gives consumers the ability to make complaints when they have issues with service providers, including car insurance companies. If you believe that your claim was denied without cause, you can visit the BBB website for more information.

Do car insurance companies reimburse policyholders for the full cost of stolen phones?

While car insurance coverage does not cover phone theft, other types of cell phone replacement insurance coverage might. If you had a brand-new phone and can provide your insurance agent with a receipt, you will not get the full cost of your phone reimbursed if your claim is approved.

Because cell phones tend to depreciate after only a few months of usage, you will probably not be in a position to recover the full purchase price if it is older.

Make note of other phone accessories that may have been stolen with your cell phone:

  • Handsets
  • Chargers
  • Cases

You may be eligible for reimbursement if you are able to provide photographs, receipts, or similar forms of proof.

Your cell phone carrier might also provide you with a brand-new phone if you have purchased a warranty or insurance separately from your car insurance policy. Many times, these types of insurance plans are not based on the age or condition of the phone originally stolen.

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What happens if your stolen phone is found or returned?

If you’ve already submitted your insurance claim and the stolen phone is returned to you, contact your insurance company for more information.

Sometimes, if your phone is returned, your claim will be denied on the basis that no harm has been done. If your phone has not been returned in the same condition, you might be able to resubmit your claim after giving your insurance agent more details.

You may have to return the money paid out by your car insurance provider if you receive your stolen phone back. There is no definitive window of time that stipulates when claims need to be paid back.

Even if several weeks have gone by and you have already purchased a replacement phone, being honest about all of the details of your claim will prevent you from having future claims denied.

My car has been stolen will my insurance go up?

If your car is stolen, your rates may not go up. In fact, unless you have comprehensive car insurance coverage, the insurance company may not even pay for the theft.

However, if you live in an area with a high car theft rate, it can affect your car insurance premium. Insurance companies consider drivers who live in a neighborhood with above average theft rates high-risk and it will be reflected in higher insurance rates.

Editorial Guidelines: We are a free online resource for anyone interested in learning more about auto insurance. Our goal is to be an objective, third-party resource for everything auto insurance related. We update our site regularly, and all content is reviewed by auto insurance experts.

A former insurance producer, Laura understands that education is key when it comes to buying insurance. She has happily dedicated many hours to helping her clients understand how the insurance marketplace works so they can find the best car, home, and life insurance products for their needs.

Full Bio →

Written by Laura Berry
Former Insurance Agent Laura Berry

Joel Ohman is the CEO of a private equity backed digital media company. He is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™, author, angel investor, and serial entrepreneur who loves creating new things, whether books or businesses. He has also previously served as the founder and resident CFP® of a national insurance agency, Real Time Health Quotes. He has an MBA from the University of South Florida. Jo...

Full Bio →

Reviewed by Joel Ohman
Founder & CFP® Joel Ohman

Free Car Insurance Comparison

Enter your ZIP code below to view companies that have cheap car insurance rates.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption