Does renters insurance cover car theft? It is quite a common question searched by many American car owners, considering car thefts are common in the country. Over one million vehicles were estimated to be stolen in the previous year. What’s more worrying is that the number increased by almost 7% yearly. It is relatively straightforward that a thief or a burglar would not distinguish between a rented or owned car. Hence, irrespective of the nature of your vehicle, the importance of car insurance is rather critical.
A car rental company commonly attaches renters insurance as part of their terms and conditions. However, it is critical to understand whether such insurance (renters) would be helpful in case of car theft. This blog will help determine whether renters insurance is enough to cover car theft or if the renting company and lessee need additional measures.
What is Renters Insurance?
Before answering the question, does renters insurance cover car theft or not, it is critical to consider its meaning. Renters insurance notably protects homeowners who intend to let out their residential properties. The primary focus of renters insurance is to safeguard the tenant’s personal belongings and protect them against risks, including theft, fire, water damage, vandalism and certain natural disasters.
What is the Main Objective of Renters Insurance?
The main objective of renters insurance is to reimburse tenants for any losses they suffer due to the abovementioned reasons. The coverage includes different categories of rented properties, such as furniture, electronics and other appliances. The insurance also provides liability coverage to protect tenants against accidental damage or injuries to any third party visiting the property.
The fundamental meaning of renters coverage does not consider any damage coverage of vehicles. It is a facility meant to protect tenants against any mishaps that damage the property and other assets, along with third-party injury protection.
What To Do if Your Car is Stolen?
Renters insurance coverage would not provide any material protection in case of car theft. However, it is strongly suggested that an individual or car rental company opts for comprehensive car insurance covering such instances.
From a general perspective, assuming that the owner has a car theft insurance policy, one can follow these steps when a vehicle is stolen:
Contact the Police
The initial step is to contact your nearest police station. Such information must be provided to the cops when the car owner learns about the theft. The police department might ask for various details (of the vehicle) such as make, model, license plate number and any distinguishing features.
Notify your Auto Insurance Provider
Once the police formalities are over, the department shall provide you with the initial report. Provide all necessary details regarding the theft to the insurance company as well. The insurance company will verify the details with the given police station and will guide you through the process of filing a claim.
Review Renters Policy
Even though a renters policy does not cover car theft, there might be certain belongings that you might have lost along with the vehicle. You need to cross-check if the renters policy provides such claims in case the belongings are stolen with a car (such as a laptop etc.). Accordingly, you might also need to file a claim with your renters insurance provider.
Collaborate with Police and Insurance Provider
The claim might take weeks and months to get settled. During the investigation, you may be asked questions about your whereabouts. Collaborating with the agencies to swiftly resolve your claim is quite critical.
Does Renters Insurance Cover Car Theft?
No, renters insurance does not cover car or any other vehicle theft. Therefore, it is highly recommended that a vehicle owner purchase a separate auto insurance policy covering them against any such mishaps. Auto insurance can be comprehensive, third-party liability only or auto-collision protection. Such comprehensive coverage protects a vehicle against theft, accidents, damage and liability.
Auto insurance is mandatory in the US; however, the coverage requirements differ from state to state. It is also critical that the vehicle owner understands the categories of add-ons and limitations of renters insurance before deciding the most appropriate car insurance.
What Does Renters Insurance Cover?
The obvious question here is if renters insurance does not protect cars, what exactly is included in it. Here are some assets that are generally covered by renters insurance:
- Personal Property: Personal properties include furniture, electronics, clothing, appliances and other possessions inside your rented property. Renters insurance protects such properties against fire, theft, vandalism, and other acts of god.
- Liability Protection: In case of an injury suffered by any third party while visiting the rented property, renters insurance helps cover medical expenses, legal fees and potential lawsuits.
- Additional Living Expenses: Some add-ons help cover various additional expenses (short-term) such as temporary accommodations, meals and other necessary expenses in case a house is rebuilt or renovated.
- Off-Premises Damages: Some renters insurance also provides protection of personal properties even when they are used off-premises. For instance, we talked about losing a laptop with a stolen car, which might be covered by renters insurance.
So to answer the question: Does renters insurance cover car theft? It is clear that the objective of renters insurance is not to protect an insured against any category of car theft. This insurance is meant to protect personal property and third-party injury loss coverage in the case of a rented property. With car theft being a severe issue in the country, it is significant that a vehicle owner must have a comprehensive auto insurance policy that protects the vehicle as well as third parties during any mishaps.