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Does Renters Insurance Cover Car Theft? Facts & FAQs

Car thief hand holding screwdriver

Renters insurance is an insurance policy designed to protect individuals from the financial loss of their personal belongings. Typically, it is used to protect items inside the property itself from theft, burglary, and loss due to damage.

Such a policy will not usually cover the theft of a car, which should be covered by a comprehensive auto insurance policy, but depending on the policy details, it may protect against the theft of personal vehicles from a car, even if the car is not parked at your home. From there, the coverage you enjoy will depend on the policy itself so you may be able to claim for the theft of personal items up to your limit and minus your deductible. This may include items that are inside the car when the car is stolen.

car and road divider

Car Theft

Renter’s insurance is a policy that protects the personal belongings of renters and tenants. As such, it is understandable that people believe that their car, van, or other vehicle would be covered by the policy. After all, it is a personal belonging and if it is stolen the owner faces financial loss. But cars are not covered by renter’s insurance policies. Instead, they should be covered under the comprehensive elements of an auto insurance policy. It is auto insurance that will pay for the loss of the car.

Personal Belongings

Many of us keep at least some items in our cars, whether that’s items like laptops and mobile phones or maybe even walking and outdoor gear. If personal items like these are stolen from a car, these are usually covered by renter’s insurance. This is true if your car is parked on your property, on the road outside, and even if it is parked outside work or away from the home. However, there are several other factors to consider when determining how much you are entitled to.

laptop inside car
Image Credit: KPG-Payless, Shutterstock


Every insurance policy has limits, including your renter’s insurance. This is the maximum amount of loss that a policy will cover. So, if your renter’s insurance covers you for $10,000 and $20,000 of personal belongings are taken, only half of your stolen belongings are covered.

Most policies have other limits, too. There is usually a very low limit for cash, for example, typically around $200. This is to prevent fraudulent claims of thousands of dollars of cash being paid out. There will also be a sub-limit on expensive items like jewelry, so if you leave a $10,000 wedding ring in the car and it gets stolen, the whole value of the ring may not be covered. If you have a lot of expensive jewelry, it is worth checking the sub-limit on these items and potentially paying extra to increase the limit.


You will also have to consider your deductible level. This is the amount that you pay towards the loss. Some policies have a forced deductible level, and some offer voluntary deductible levels to reduce the premium paid for the policy. If your policy has a $500 deductible and it is deemed that you have lost $5,000 of property, you will receive recompense for $4,500 of the losses.

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Renter’s insurance does not cover car theft, even though you might consider a car to be your personal belongings. The value of the car itself, and its parts, should be covered by an auto insurance policy. Personal belongings inside the car, including items like golf clubs as well as cell phones, and even a small amount of cash, should be protected by a renter’s insurance policy. Check the policy limit, including any sub-limit for exceptional items, and don’t forget that you have to pay the deductible amount yourself before the insurance company pays the remainder.

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Featured Image Credit: fongbeerredhot, Shutterstock


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