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Dealing with a Car Break-in?

February 1st, 2019

Thief, car break-in

What your auto policy may not cover with a car break-in

In the busy bustle of life, many times important personal items such as laptops, tablets, cell phones and purses are left in the car as we go about our day. Unfortunately these types of items can be tempting to steal. Contrary to popular belief, most car break-ins occur during daylight hours, typically between 10am – 3pm, not at night. These smash-and-grab break-ins are the most common forms of larceny, as thieves see it as an easy opportunity. But for you, it’s a laborious process to repair your car, and replace your stolen items.

If your car is broken into, you might assume your auto policy covers restitution of these stolen items. You are not alone in presuming that you have “full coverage” and will be protected if something unfortunate happens.

Many people incorrectly believe that their auto insurance covers everything in their vehicle. However, if someone breaks into your vehicle, your auto insurance will only cover the damage to your vehicle. To receive restitution for your stolen property, having a renters or homeowners policy is necessary to cover the personal property that was in the vehicle. With your renter’s policy or homeowner’s policy, your personal property losses are covered under the policy, subject to your deductible.

The best way to protect your personal property is awareness.

  • Don’t leave valuables in your car when it’s unattended
  • Don’t park in secluded places; seek out well-lit spaces, and lots with high visibility
  • Always lock your car doors, roll windows up and keep your keys with you

It’s also recommended to work with your Personal Lines Advisor to understand your policy and coverage. Your advisor can also provide information on additional coverages.

Here are some recommended coverages to round out your auto policy:

Car Rental Coverage – this coverage provides for car rental after an accident. Often this coverage is skipped due to additional premium, but consider what happens in the event of an accident rendering you carless. Don’t be left without a vehicle.

Business Use Coverage – if you do not have the proper coverage on your vehicle and are using it for business use, you could be declined on a claim. Business use coverage should be added on a vehicle when you are using your personal auto for both personal use and business use, especially when you drive to different locations or are driving clients around.

Gap Coverage – offered with the purchase of new vehicles and can sometimes be provided by your insurance carrier at a lower rate. This coverage should be considered when adding a new vehicle. Gap insurance is the difference between the actual cash value of the vehicle and the balance still owed on the vehicle with the financing company.

Medical Payments – this coverage pays for treatment of injuries to the driver and passengers of the policyholder car, regardless of fault. In some cases, this coverage follows the policyholder. Meaning, if you’re walking, or riding in a friend’s vehicle your medical payments coverage remains active. Your advisor can verify this coverage with you.

At Brown & Brown, our Personal Lines Advisors offer complimentary reviews of your policy. Please contact us to schedule yours.

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