Auto Insurance – Are all my contents really covered?
As the weather heats up and the windows start rolling down, I thought it might be a good time to remind you that not everything in your car is covered under your auto policy.
Here’s the scenario
It’s 85° and your AC is slammin’ at home. You decide it’s a great time to grab your stuff and hit the beach. I don’t blame you - in fact, you can invite me (my contact info is below)! Here’s the thing, after you put what seems to be everything you own in the car and load your kids in the back, you’re on your way without a thought in the world. Good weather, great day, good times!
Have you ever thought about how much that “stuff” in your car would cost to replace? You might have grabbed your kindle, iPad or laptop. Your kids have their Beats headphones and their mobile devices as well. You even have TV screens on the back of your headrests. These days we all know we need toys when we hit the beach, whether it’s the bike on the back of your car or a surf board on the roof rack. You came to the beach to play and have a good time.
Fast forward to when the sun can’t sink in anymore and the kids are no longer jumping through the waves. You pack up and get ready to load the car thinking you’re going to have an easy ride home while the kids are zoned out to their favorite movie or game. The problem is – you left the window down. You quickly notice – correction - your children notice that the headphones aren’t in the same place as they were when you left the car. They are making this very apparent as you try to load up the car. You then take a look and realize that not only are the headphones gone, the iPad and laptop are missing as well – thank goodness you brought your Kindle down to the beach with you to read your book! You also take a quick glance at the roof rack and realize that $600 surfboard that you rarely use is no longer there! Great purchase…
Well, if you own a home (and have homeowners insurance), then the answer is you probably have coverage for these missing items.
Here’s where it gets tricky if you don’t have homeowners insurance. To this day, I still get a lot of people telling me that they thought if they had auto insurance, their personal belongings were covered while in their car. I know of some companies that have come out with endorsements to cover certain items, but for the most part, there isn’t coverage under your auto insurance. This is where you don’t want to feel like you’ve been short changed.
Now let’s say you don’t own a home - you rent. The best way for you to avoid feeling short changed in this scenario is to have a tenant homeowners policy with an extended coverage endorsement. This will add coverage and allow you to insure your personal property -- anywhere it goes – for a minimal amount of money.
If you don’t have homeowners or a tenant policy, there are extended coverage endorsements that can be added to your auto policy, allowing you to cover your personal property while it’s in your vehicle.
As always, there are variables to each situation, so be sure to check with your Agent to get the details on exactly what your specific policy would cover. If you have questions about this, please feel free to reach out to me via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, as I’m always eager to help.
Now go enjoy the beach – and don’t forget to roll your windows up…