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Are Personal Items Covered by My Auto Insurance Policy?

Over the past decade, our valuables have become, well… more valuable. For example, smartphones can easily exceed $1,000, while your child’s handheld game system may cost a few hundred dollars to replace.

So, what happens if your vehicle is stolen or totaled in a fire?

As it turns out, nothing. That’s right. Nearly all automobile insurance policies exclude coverage for personal items. Although some insurers offer some coverage for an additional cost, this is the exception and not the rule.

There are two exceptions that may afford some coverage under your automobile policy:

Permanently Attached Items – In-dash navigation systems, stereo equipment, and other permanently installed items may be covered if they were declared to your insurance company before the loss occurred.

Business Use Coverage – Automobile insurance policies may provide coverage for equipment used in your business operations. However, this coverage is only found on business insurance policies and the items must be directly used for the company.

So, what can you do if your automobile insurance policy will not replace lost or stolen personal items?

Unfortunately, personal items destroyed in an accident, fire, or natural disaster will be your responsibility to replace them. But odd as it may sound, your renters or homeowners insurance policy may help you recover items stolen with or from your vehicle.  

You will need to file a police report and show proof you owned the stolen items with receipts or proof of payments. The challenge in reporting stolen items to your renters or homeowners’ insurance company is you will likely need to clear a high deductible before coverage pays.

If you have questions about what is covered under your policy or want to make sure you have adequate coverage for your specific needs, contact our office. 

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