It’s a scene that strikes fear in many of us: You go to bed one evening and wake up to see that your driver side window has been shattered and all your belongings inside have been stolen. So how does your insurance work in a situation like this?
Car insurance claim- comprehensive coverage
Damage to your car would fall under your Ohio car insurance policy and only in regard to one specific coverage, comprehensive (sometimes called other than collision).
Among other things, comprehensive coverage also covers vandalism. And this would clearly be a case of vandalism. Comprehensive is subject to a deductible, so it’s best to get an estimate of the damage to see if there’s enough for a claim. For example, your comprehensive deductible is $500. The damage is only $750. You may decide to NOT turn in the car insurance claim since it’s not much more than the deductible (read the top 4 reasons to file an insurance claim).
NOTE: an Ohio car insurance policy is designed to cover the vehicle as it came from the factory. IF you add aftermarket parts, wheels, custom paint, stereos or any of the 800 other things you can put on a car after your buy it and are concerned with getting coverage, CALL your agent or insurance company! Many aftermarket items are eligible to be covered, for payment of additional premium. Don’t be surprised at claim time!
OK, so we’ve discussed the damage to the car and how insurance would step in. What about the items that were stolen?
Unfortunately, Ohio car insurance is not designed to cover anything that is NOT related to the vehicle. So personal items such as a purse, bookbag or other household possessions are NOT covered. To get coverage for these items, you need to look to your homeowners (or renters) insurance.
Homeowners insurance claim- for personal property stolen
Regardless of whether you have a homeowners policy, a renters policy or condo policy, all three have Coverage C- Personal Property. What’s personal property? I always say to people “If you turn your house or apartment upside down, it’s what falls out”.
MOST Ohio homeowners policies extend coverage to personal property outside of the home. So your personal items that were in your car? Most likely Covered! (when in doubt, ask your agent!)
Personal property is subject to a deductible, so you’ll need to tally up what you lost to see if it’s worth it to file a claim. And some types of personal property have amount limitations as well (for example, jewelry often is limited to $1000). So you may have a valid homeowners insurance claim, depending on the items stolen and whether or not the dollar amount exceeds your deductible.
What’s the final outcome?
In a situation like this, it’s entirely possible you’ll have TWO claims from the same incident. One for the car damage and the other for the stolen items.
That also means two deductibles.
Again, most people decide whether or not to file a claim based on the total damage amount. I would say there is usually more $ damage to the vehicle, than $ amount stolen, so the car insurance claim is more likely to get filed (broken glass, body damage, etc.).
In summary, comprehensive coverage on your car insurance policy will cover the vandalism damage. Homeowners insurance will handle the stolen personal items, subject to policy limitations and deductible.