Understanding Car Insurance Options with Personal Property Coverage
Auto insurance coverage is to protect you from financial losses in case of an accident, not your personal property. If you are involved in an accident, and found to be at fault, your insurance policy covers any liability you may have to the other parties involved in the accident. That is to include repairs to the other vehicles, medical and or hospitalization bills and any property damaged to items outside of your vehicle. It does not include your personal property damaged or lost during the accident.
What is Covered and by What Coverage
There are different types of insurance coverage. If you own the vehicle without any financial contracts such as a loan, lease or the vehicle as collateral, all you are required to maintain in most states is liability insurance.
Liability insurance covers you for financial claims against you if you are found to be at fault in an accident. This includes damages to the other vehicle, any medical or hospital bills, and personal property damage to the other vehicle. It will also cover damages to other property damaged during the accident such as fences, buildings and power poles. You will also receive financial protection if someone files a lawsuit against you because of the accident, such as loss of income, business or pain and suffering.
Collision insurance covers any damage to your vehicle cause by an accident whether it is you at fault or not. If the other vehicles owner does not have enough insurance to cover your vehicle's repairs, your collision insurance will cover the rest of the repairs unless it exceeds the limits of your policy.
Comprehensive insurance covers any damages to your vehicle not caused by an accident. It will cover the costs of repairs due to theft, vandalism, and “Acts of God.” An “Act of God” is a term used to describe damage caused by natural occurrences such as flood, lightning, sandstorm or even a tree limb falling on your car during a rainstorm.
There are additional insurance options that can be included with the policy such as DVD/CD coverage. This option will cover damage to a DVD or CD, but only if it was inside the car stereo during the accident. Any discs in a case on the seat will not be covered.
Since all these insurance coverages are to protect the owner of the vehicle for financial losses when the car causes an accident, personal property of the owner is not included in the coverage.
For personal property you need to file a claim against your homeowners or renters insurance. In most instances, homeowners and renters insurance covers the policyholder for their personal property while it is located in their residence or outside the residence.
Personal property in a homeowners or renters insurance is described as anything not physically attached to the residence. Kitchen cabinets are attached to the walls, so it is not considered personal property, even if they are custom-made cabinets, but the items in the cabinet are considered personal property.
During a car accident, a mobile phone, or a computer damaged in the car of the vehicle at fault would not be covered by your insurance. But the same items in the other vehicle, if damaged - would be covered.