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If you have full coverage auto insurance, you have contents coverage. You probably think that means anything in or on your vehicle is covered if stolen. That awesome new entertainment system or those killer rims: all taken care of. Well, that’s not exactly the case.
Most people know that if your vehicle is stolen, the theft coverage from your auto insurance will help pay to replace it. The contents are a different story. The comprehensive portion of your auto insurance is what pays for non-accident-related losses. Unfortunately, the coverage only extends to the vehicle itself and not its contents. If you leave personal property in your vehicle, such as a laptop, cell phone or even your wallet, you may be out of luck.
There are a few things to consider when thinking about personal items in your vehicle and whether or not they would be covered in the event of a loss:
- Is an item permanently attached to your car? If it is easily removed or portable, it wouldn’t be considered permanently attached and not covered by your auto insurance.
- If an item is permanently attached to your car, but not original equipment (expensive stereo, aftermarket equipment, etc.), you probably need additional coverage. This is especially true with custom vehicles.
If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, items stolen from your vehicle should be covered. Naturally you will need proof you actually owned the lost items, most commonly a receipt. You will likely need to file a police report and follow the claims process, but at least you can get your property replaced. When considering whether to file a claim, remember that your homeowner’s policy probably has a higher deductible than your auto policy.
The best way to avoid any surprises is to make sure you won’t be surprised. Talk to your insurance professional and look at what coverages you have and what you may need to be fully protected.