If you haven’t (yet) had personal experience with a smash-and-grab thief who breaks car windows to snatch valuables, good. Let’s work to keep it that way.
Theft from vehicles is a huge issue. It’s even more common than theft of vehicles – usually because stealing from a vehicle is quicker than stealing the vehicle itself and the goods are easier to sell. (Personal property and accessories worth more than $1.26 billion are stolen from vehicles each year.) Since it takes a thief about five seconds to break your window and make off with your property, there’s a lot of incentive for dishonest people to make a quick buck.
What thieves look for
A study by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration found that owner error is responsible for between 40% and 50% of all vehicle-related thefts, so taking just a few simple steps can drastically lower your risk. Thieves are looking for small, valuable items that are easy to carry and sell. The following items are frequently targeted, so keep them out of sight by concealing them under a seat, blanket, cargo cover, etc.
- Backpacks, briefcases, purses, and wallets
- Cash (including loose change)
- Phones, tablets, laptops, and portable GPS units
- House keys
- Shopping bags
- Sports equipment (e.g., golf clubs)
- Stereo systems
- Vehicle registrations
- Wrapped gifts
What your car insurance will cover – and what it won’t
Your stolen property. If a thief breaks your window and takes your stuff, you potentially have some coverage. But it’s not your auto policy that covers property stolen from a vehicle – it’s your home, condo, or renter’s policy. If you have to make a claim, make it under that policy. Check to see if there are specific limits for certain types of items stolen from your vehicle and be aware that in most cases, your policy deductible would apply to any claim payments.
Your broken car window. Your insurance company would likely consider the broken window and other damage related to the theft as vandalism, which would usually be covered by the Comprehensive/Other Than Collision section of an auto policy. Check your policy to be sure you have this coverage. In most states, your policy deductible would be applied to your claim payment.
Our Risk Coaches™ are licensed insurance professionals who are trained to look at coverage from your perspective. They’re glad to help you navigate the often-perplexing world of insurance coverage. Contact your local Risk Coach professional or call us at 800.342.5342, Monday through Friday from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. ET.
Product, service, program, credit, and discount availability and limits vary by state. The information provided on this site is provided for informational purposes only and is not a full explanation of products, services, or coverage. For more information, please contact Electric Insurance Company at 800.227.2757. If there are discrepancies between the information on this site and the policy, the terms in the policy apply.
Electric Insurance Company Risk Coaches help you assess your current coverages and exposure to risk based on the information you provide during your discussion. The services provided are for informational purposes only and do not create a professional or fiduciary relationship. Incomplete information or a change in your circumstances after your meeting may affect coverage requirements or recommendations.
As a courtesy to our customers, Electric Insurance Company generally only applies one deductible when a single incident (such as theft from your vehicle) requires you to make claims under both your Electric Insurance home policy and auto policy. That means you would recover anywhere from $500 to $5,000 more, depending on the policy deductible amount. If you have full glass coverage on your auto policy and the only physical damage to your vehicle is glass damage, no deductible would apply.