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Does Car Insurance Cover Theft of Personal Items in the Vehicle?

It is commonly believed that car insurance, especially comprehensive insurance covers damages to the car and everything inside it. But that is not the case. Theft of a car is most definitely covered under a comprehensive car insurance policy, but it does not cover the loss of personal property present inside the car.

If your car is stolen and you have a comprehensive insurance cover then you will receive a reimbursement to the extent of the Insured Declared Value (IDV) of your car. You will need to buy a new policy for a new car. However, if someone were to break into your car and steal your personal possessions from inside the car, a comprehensive insurance will only cover damage to the car. The cover does not include items stolen from your vehicle.

Personal Belongings Cover

If you want cover for your personal items in the car insurance policy, then you will have to opt for an add-on cover - Personal Belongings (inside the vehicle) which requires additional payment of premium. With this cover, the insurer will reimburse market value of personal items for loss or damage caused by fire, burglary or accidental external means while they were inside the insured vehicle subject to the company’s terms and conditions. You can look this up on the insurer’s website while buying car insurance online.

Exclusions of a Personal Belongings Cover

It is important to know the exclusions of a Personal Belongings Cover. It ensures you are aware of the extent of your cover at the time of claim.

Items/Incidents excluded from this cover include -

  • Incident resulting from insured’s negligence
  • Incident not reported to the police within 24 hours of the theft or discovery
  • Borrowed car
  • Loss due to wear and tear caused by normal use or climatic conditions or electric and mechanical failure
  • Theft of important documents
  • Personal items not carried around by the insured
  • Personal items locked in a safety deposit box or locker
  • Personal items in use by a third-party
  • Personal items not included in the police report
  • Personal items left in the car overnight

Procedure for claim of loss under Personal Belongings Cover

  • Within 24 hours of theft discovery, inform your car insurance provider
  • You need to furnish personal details including your name, contact details, policy number, date and time of theft, area where incident occurred at the time of filing a claim.
  • File a Police Report and submit along with a copy. This is mandatory.

Process for Filing a Car Theft Claim Successfully

It is important you provide all of the appended information within the stipulated time.

  • File an FIR: This is a pre-requisite. On knowing about the theft the very next step should be reporting the incident to the nearest police station. This is the first step towards initiating your car theft claim process.
  • Inform you Car Insurance Provider: The next step should be to contact your insurance provider to inform them about the car theft. Every insurance company has a specific process which they follow as next steps in relation to car theft claims. Inform the insurance company within 24 hours of theft discovery.
  • Intimate the Regional Transport Office (RTO): It is required by law to intimate the Regional Transport Office about your car theft.  This is important because they will facilitate the transfer of documents and papers.
  • Collect Claim Settlement Documents: At this point you need to collect all the documents which need to be submitted to the insurance provider to authenticate your claim. Additionally, you must fill the Car Theft Claim Form (can be downloaded or procured from the insurer’s office) and submit the requisite documents.

Documents Required for Claim Settlement

The following documentation needs to be promptly submitted to your car insurance provider at the time of claim settlement - 

  • Claim Form (signed and filled)
  • First Information Report (FIR) copy
  • Police Investigation report
  • Invoice and receipts (based on claim)
  • Property Irregularity Report (PIR)

It is quite apparent that a car insurance policy with the right add-ons will ease financial burden provided you follow the aforementioned procedure.

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