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Does your Car Insurance cover the Theft of Personal Belongings from your car?
If you’re a car-owner, having your car stolen is probably one of your worst nightmares. And this situation can be even worse if a lot of your possessions have been stolen along with your car.
However, you might be wondering “What about all my personal belongings that were left in the car when it was stolen?”. Would things like your phone or wallet be covered by your car insurance in the case of a theft? Well, if this is something you are asking yourself, read on to find out more:
When does your car insurance cover in the case of theft?
If you’re wondering whether or not your insurance will help cover you in the case of theft of personal belongings – that would depend on what kind of insurance you have.
In case you just have a Third-Party Car Insurance* (also called a “liability-only policy”), you need to remember that you won’t be covered for any kind of theft or damage to your own car.
However, any own damages and theft will be covered if you have a Comprehensive Policy, or even a Standalone Own Damages policy.
*Having at least a Third-party insurance is mandatory in India as per the Motor Vehicles Act.
To see how exactly this works, let’s look at two situations:
Your car was stolen (with your personal belongings inside it)
Let us say you go out for a movie and leave you can in the parking lot. After the show, you look around for it, but you realize that it is missing. In fact, it has been stolen! 😱
If you have a comprehensive insurance, you should be covered in case of theft. You will need to immediately go to the police and inform your insurance company. Since your car would be considered a “total loss,” you will receive your car’s IDV (or Insured Declared Value) as the claim amount.
But what about all the personal items that were inside your car? Unfortunately, if you have a basic comprehensive policy, they won't be covered under your car insurance.
However, you can opt for a Loss of Personal Belongings add-on cover. With this, your insurer will help out with compensation for the loss of any personal belongings that were in your car at the time of the theft.
Only your personal items were stolen from your car
Now imagine this scenario: you take your car out and park it along the side of the road while you go and buy some vegetables, leaving your phone and laptop inside. But when you get back, Oh no! you realize that someone has broken into your car and stolen your phone and laptop! 😞
In this case, if you have a basic comprehensive car insurance, or an own damage policy, it will cover the costs of repairs and replacement for any damages to your car, such as broken doors or smashed windows. But, it will not cover the stolen items.
Once again, for this you would need to have the Loss of Personal Belongings add-on cover.
What is a Loss of Personal Belongings cover?
So, now you’re probably asking yourself what is this Personal Belongings add-on cover?
Basically, it is an add-on cover, which is a sort-of additional protection that you can get with a Comprehensive Insurance or Own Damage car insurance policy. Like all other add-ons it comes at a slightly higher premium. But, since it will bring you great peace of mind, it’s surely worth every penny! 😊
With this coverage, any personal belongings like laptops, smartphones, cameras, or even musical instruments will be covered. This means that your insurer will be able to reimburse you for their loss or damage from things like fire or theft (as long as they were inside your car at the time)
What are the benefits of having this cover?
While a personal belongings cover might come at a small additional premium, there are a lot of benefits of having this cover.
- Protect your Things: Get protection for any Personal Belongings you carry around in your car in the case of damages and theft
- Ease your financial burden: If the worst happens and your personal belongings are stolen or damaged, you know that you will be financially don’t end up spending anything extra from your pocket
- Peace of Mind: This add-on will help you ensure that you have some peace of mind even after you have already had an unpleasant experience and lost your things
However, you should keep in mind that your possessions won't be covered in some situations, such as:
- if they are lost due to your own negligence (like if your car’s doors and windows were not locked)
- the incident was not reported to the police in time
- your belongings were left in the car overnight
- the loss of any borrowed property
How to make a Car Insurance Claim in case of Theft?
If you're ever in a situation where your vehicle has been stolen, we understand that you’ll be in shock; but you must start the theft claims process as soon as you can:
Here is what you need to do:
- Step 1: File an FIR at the nearest police station
- Step 2: Inform your insurer of the theft.
- Step 3: Inform the regional Road Transportation Office (RTO) that your vehicle has been stolen. They will need to transfer ownership of your vehicle.
- Step 4: Make sure you have all the relevant documents, like the copy of the FIR, your policy documents, the claims form, your driving license, your car’s registration certificate (RC), and the transfer papers from the RTO.
- Step 5: Get a “no-trace” report from the police to show that your car is still missing.
- Step 6: Transfer the RC of the stolen vehicle, the keys, and the original invoice to your insurance company.
- Step 7: And that’s it! Your insurance company will then reimburse you with the approved amount.
If your car hasn’t been stolen, but someone has broken in and taken your belongings, you still need to follow a similar car insurance claim procedure.
However, instead of contacting the RTO, you will need to document any damages to your vehicle and your belongings and submit that to your insurer.
Disclaimer: Currently Digit is not providing loss of personal belongings cover.