Does Car Insurance Cover Stolen Holiday Presents?

Last Updated on May 28, 2020

So you’re out shopping for Christmas presents and someone breaks into your car and steals your presents. Does your car insurance cover stolen holiday packages? Can you expect car insurance to pay for losses caused by the Grinch who stole your presents?

Today, we’re explaining everything you need to know about car insurance covering stolen holiday packages.

Car Insurance Will Not Typically Cover Stolen Holiday Packages

stolen holiday presentsFirst, let’s clear up something important: car insurance policies will not cover stolen holiday packages.

If you’re parked at the mall or at home and someone breaks into your car or steals your vehicle, then car insurance will not cover the loss of anything inside the vehicle.

Instead, this type of loss would typically fall under your homeowner’s or renter’s insurance policy, depending on your coverage. If you have homeowner’s or renter’s insurance, then you’ll be able to make a claim on your stolen holiday packages.

Comprehensive Coverage Will Cover Car Theft and Vandalism

Car insurance is designed to pay for damages to a vehicle.

If your vehicle is lost or stolen, then your insurance policy will cover the costs of replacing your vehicle (if it’s been stolen and not found) or repairing the damages (if it’s been vandalized or damaged).

Car insurance will only cover theft and vandalism if you have a comprehensive car insurance policy. If you have the cheapest possible car insurance – like a liability plan or collision-only coverage – then it’s unlikely car theft or vandalism will be covered under your policy.

In other words, if you only have basic liability insurance, then you might lose your Christmas presents and not receive compensation for vehicle damages or theft. That’s tough.

Will Car Insurance Ever Pay for Stolen Items?

In almost all cases, car insurance companies will only pay for damages to items that are factory-installed in a vehicle. If the item is not a permanent fixture of the vehicle, then it may not be covered by car insurance.

There are a few reasons why car insurance companies don’t cover theft:

  • It’s hard to prove whether or not an item was in the vehicle at the time of the break-in
  • There’s an increased risk of insurance fraud
  • The insurance company calculates risk based on the value of your vehicle – not the value of any items you might potentially store within that vehicle
  • Items can be covered by other types of insurance, which means you could file a claim under multiple insurance policies

These are just a few of the reasons why car insurance policies don’t cover stolen holiday packages.

Car Insurance Policies May Cover Factory-installed Items in your Vehicle

You will not receive coverage for Christmas presents under your car insurance policy. Typically, car insurance only covers items that are factory-installed in your vehicle. However, if you install after-market items in your vehicle – like a pricey car stereo – then you may be able to get an additional rider on your insurance policy to cover damages to that item.

To receive coverage for something like a sound system, your car insurance company will need to appraise the item. They might check the receipts from the stereo retailer, for example, or the car stereo installation company. Then, they’ll add a rider to your policy to cover that item. Your premiums will go up based on the increased risk of covering that item.

Obviously, with Christmas presents and holiday packages, you will not be able to order an additional rider from your insurance company. They’re not permanently installed items.

Homeowner’s or Renter’s Insurance Will Cover Stolen Holiday Packages

We do have some good news: if you have homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance, then these policies will cover stolen holiday packages and Christmas presents.

Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance will cover your items regardless of where they were at the time of the loss. You can make an insurance claim if your laptop was stolen from your vehicle, for example, or if your phone was stolen at a coffee shop. Homeowner’s and renter’s insurance will almost certainly cover holiday packages that have been stolen from your vehicle.

To make a claim, call your insurance provider. You’ll need to provide some proof of ownership over the holiday packages – like a receipt or the original packaging for the item.

Of course, you’ll need to pay a deductible to make a claim. A typical homeowner’s insurance deductible will be around $250. If the value of your stolen holiday packages was less than $250 (or whatever your deductible is), then you may need to pay out of pocket.

Conclusion: Car Insurance Will Never Cover Stolen Holiday Packages, But Other Insurance Will

Ultimately, your car insurance will never cover stolen holiday packages or Christmas presents. Your car insurance policy will, however, cover vandalism and vehicle theft – assuming you have comprehensive coverage.

It’s not all bad news: if you have homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance, then that insurance policy will cover the cost of replacing your possessions regardless of where they were stolen. If you can provide proof of ownership over your holiday packages, then you can make a claim – just don’t expect to get any money from your car insurance company.

James Shaffer
James Shaffer James Shaffer is a writer for and a well-seasoned auto insurance industry veteran. He has a deep knowledge of insurance rules and regulations and is passionate about helping drivers save money on auto insurance. He is responsible for researching and writing about anything auto insurance-related. He holds a bachelor's degree from Bentley University and his work has been quoted by NBC News, CNN, and The Washington Post.
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