Can Your Homeowners Insurance Company Cover a Stolen Vehicle From Your House?

Car theft is not a homeowners insurance problem.

Car theft is not a homeowners insurance problem.

If someone burglarizes your house, homeowners insurance covers the loss. If someone steals a vehicle out of your driveway or your garage, however, your car insurance had better cover it because homeowners insurance won't. According to "Realty Times," many homeowners assume homeowners insurance will pay if a theft takes place on their property. Those homeowners are wrong.

Comprehensive Coverage

If someone swipes your car, even auto insurance may not pay your claim. Auto policies include several different types of coverage: collision insurance, liability coverage, personal injury protection and comprehensive coverage. It's comprehensive coverage that pays for car theft. Because comprehensive coverage pays back less money as your car ages, a common rule of thumb is that it's not worth carrying if your car is worth less than $2,500. If you have no comprehensive coverage, your policy can't help you.

What's Inside

Although homeowners insurance won't protect your car, it will protect what's inside of it. Homeowners insurance covers not only theft from your house but off-premises theft: Personal property that's in your car when the car is stolen or that's stolen out of your car is covered. Homeowners and comprehensive divide up the interior of your car based on whether an item is part of the car. Claims for a detachable stereo go to homeowners; a built-in stereo is covered by comprehensive.

Off Premises

Your off-premises coverage usually extends to 10 percent of the policy's face value: If you have a $200,000 policy, that's $20,000. Individual valuable items, such as jewelry or a designer gown, may not be covered for full value unless you take out extra insurance focused on those specific items. If whatever you lose is less than your deductible, you're out of luck. If it costs $1,000 to replace your laptop and your deductible is $1,500, homeowners insurance is of no use.

Claiming Your Car

If you don't have comprehensive insurance, your car is completely uninsured against auto theft. Even if you do, there are limits on how much you can collect. Your policy payout will be based on the actual cash value of the car, and if you've had it a few years, that may not be much. If you have a deductible on your comprehensive, you're going to get even less money back from your insurer.

About the Author

Author of two film reference books, "Cyborgs, Santa Claus and Satan" and "The Wizard of Oz Catalog." Published in Air & Space, Backpacker, Newsweek, The Writer, and multiple trade journals (can fax samples if requested, don't have them available digitally)

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/AbleStock.com/Getty Images