As the holidays approach, our agents always receive a few calls from distraught car insurance customers in Ohio who have been victims of crafty thieves who stake out parking lots, malls and neighborhoods looking for unassuming people who leave gifts and valuables in their cars.
We know that every year, two million car thefts happen in the United States where thieves make off with more than $1 billion in valuables and personal items. Most car thefts happen between Thanksgiving and Christmas, as distracted holiday shoppers hurry to complete seasonal gift buying.
DOES CAR INSURANCE COVER STOLEN GIFTS AND VALUABLES IN OHIO?
Unfortunately, no. It breaks our hearts to tell our clients, “No, car insurance typically does not cover theft of valuables from your car.”
While comprehensive car insurance will cover damage to the vehicle caused by the break-in – such as a smashed window or damaged lock – and will also cover damage to permanent fixtures within the car such as seats and steering wheels, it will not cover valuables including gifts, gift cards, laptops or groceries.
There is a silver lining, though. If you have a homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy, you are most likely covered for theft of personal items – even if the stolen stuff wasn’t physically in your house or apartment when it was stolen. Check your policy to make sure you are covered for “off-premises theft” which typically covers your valuables worldwide for several mishaps including theft, fire and loss.
HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE AND RENTERS INSURANCE WILL COVER YOUR LOSS, BUT…
If you find yourself the victim of a holiday heist and want to file a claim under your homeowners insurance or renters insurance policy, you’re most likely covered but do the math first. Most people have deductibles of $500 to $1,000 or higher. That means, if the stuff in your car that was stolen is not worth more than your deductible, you most likely wouldn’t make a claim that could cause your insurance premium to increase.
Now, if your laptop or other high-value items were stolen, it might make sense to file a claim.
Remember, always call your agent to discuss whether you should file a claim. This is one of the benefits of having an agent like us; you can call and ask questions, receive answers and make an informed decision that works for you. Reach us with questions at 216.464.3333. We’re listening.
HOLIDAY SHOPPING TIPS TO KEEP VALUABLES SAFE
Here are a few tips to keep your holiday shopping happy:
- Always lock your doors and avoid leaving any valuables in plain view.
- Stow gifts, purchases, laptops and valuables in the trunk – out of view of any would-be thieves. Better yet, go home in between stops (if possible) and take your valuables inside the house.
- Park in well-lit, well-trafficked areas where people are around. The parking garage may offer protection from the snow – especially in Ohio – but can also provide a cover for would-be marauders.
- If you want to take it one step further – if crime is common in your area – think about adding a dashcam to record any deviant behavior in or around your vehicle.
Do you have questions about your insurance coverage? Give us a call at 216.464.333 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org anytime. We’d love to hear from you.
OUR PROTECTION COACHES ARE STANDING BY TO HELP PROTECT YOUR ASSETS AND YOUR LIFESTYLE. REACH OUT TO Kim Rankin, Kristy Baker OR Sam Johira DIRECTLY. THANKS!