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Does Car Insurance Cover Theft?

Imagine walking to your car after a long day at work and discovering that your car isn’t there. Or, finding your vehicle, but it’s got a broken window and all of your belongings are missing. These are exactly the type of situations where you want to have insurance on your side — and we’ve got you covered! The key is knowing what type of insurance you need and how it will help you.

Does Auto Insurance Cover Theft?

In the above scenario there are two different types of theft that happen — and each one would be covered by a different type of insurance. If you have comprehensive car insurance, then you’re covered if a thief takes off with your vehicle. Your car policy will also cover up to $200 in personal property. If you have more valuable items in your vehicle, your homeowners or renters insurance will step in after the deductible. So is theft covered? You bet — but different types of theft need different insurance, and it won’t always be covered by your auto insurance.

If you’re wondering about the broken window in the first example, or any vandalism for that matter — we’ve also got you covered. Your comprehensive insurance steps in to help you pay any out-of-pocket expenses that may arise from vandalism.

Because a car theft or theft of items in a car can be complex and involve different types of insurance, it’s a great idea to contact the police and file a report, take lots of pictures, make note of anything that was stolen and all damage done to the vehicle. And finally, call your agent to see if they have any advice for you while you’re on the scene.

What Theft Does Comprehensive Insurance Cover?

If you’re wondering specifically what types of theft your auto insurance covers, then we should explore comprehensive auto insurance more thoroughly. The following chart is an easy way to do just that!

Your car is stolen


Your hubcaps are stolen
Your locks are wrecked in a failed theft

Your tires are stolen

Your vehicle is vandalized
Windows are broken

It’s important to note that comprehensive coverage is optional. So to get the coverage, you’ll need to add it to your policy.

How Can I Prevent Auto Theft?

Of course, the best way to deal with auto theft is to avoid it. Use the following tips to help you prevent car theft.

Lock your doors and take the keys. A quick run into the store can be all the time a thief needs to steal your vehicle. Even warming your unlocked car in front of your home in the winter can be an invitation. Use extra precaution and always lock your vehicle and keep the keys with you.

Pay attention to parking. Take a good look around you and make sure you’re in a well-lit area that has a lot of foot traffic so your vehicle is not an appealing target. Paying a couple dollars more to park in a secure parking ramp versus a dark street may be worth it in the long run.

Hide your valuables. Leaving your purse, wallet, CDs, iPod, and other valuable items out in the open might be all the encouragement a passing thief needs. Locking items in the trunk and glovebox is a good way to keep them at hand but not in sight. If you don’t have a trunk, even a blanket draped over your purse can be a deterrent.

Anti-theft devices work. Whether you’re relying on the good, old-fashioned steering wheel club or a more tech-savvy approach, just having one makes your vehicle less attractive to thieves.

Sometimes, no matter what you do to avoid it, thieves strike. Connect with your American Family insurance agent to make sure you have all the coverage you need to protect your property from theft. If your car was stolen, your agent is there to guide you through the process and help you with your insurance claims.