Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Sara Routhier, Managing Editor of Features and Outreach, has professional experience as an educator, SEO specialist, and content marketer. She has over five years of experience in the insurance industry. As a researcher, data nerd, writer, and editor she strives to curate educational, enlightening articles that provide you with the must-know facts and best-kept secrets within the overwhelming worl...

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Reviewed by Sara Routhier
Director of Outreach

UPDATED: Oct 30, 2020

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Driveway Car TheftIn most situations, your auto insurance, not your home insurance, covers car theft when a car is stolen from your driveway. If you leave your car in your own drive way, can you rightfully expect an insurance company to cover a claim of theft?

A vehicle theft occurs at least twice a minute in the United States and accounts for over six billion dollars a year. The only thing worse than having your car stolen outside your own home is realizing that your insurance policy doesn’t cover it!

How soundly can you sleep at night? What insurance policy protects you against car theft? Read on to learn more and then be sure to enter your zip above to compare cheap insurance quotes!

Auto or Home Coverage: Which is Better?

Usually, motorists concerned about vehicle theft look up comprehensive coverage, which is an automobile insurance policy. Comprehensive coverage, in theory, is supposed to cover all property losses that aren’t related to collision. Unless specifically excluded in the contract, most forms of property loss, including auto theft, will be covered in a full coverage contract.

Homeowners insurance is a policy that covers primarily the structure of a home as well as many of the furnishings and property inside. Traditionally, homeowners insurance does not cover property outside the home, like cars.

However, some policies may have special circumstances. It is best to call the insurance company and ask about what coverage you can expect. There might be one special set of circumstances that could prove to be an exception; if the car is parked and locked inside a garage. In this case, technically, the car is inside the home and thus may be considered a home item. That said, this precedent is nothing to bank on.

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What if Your Property Was Inside the Car or Truck?

Here is where it gets tricky. What if you were storing some valuable contents inside of your car when it was stolen? Do you file a claim to the homeowners insurance company or the auto insurance company? If you have a claim of personal property then you must submit it to the homeowners insurance company.

It is quite possible then that you will have to deal with two insurance companies with two different types of claims. As such, you might also be liable for two deductibles when this happens.

Property theft itself is not covered under comprehensive car insurance, even if the property was inside the stolen car. Comprehensive car insurance covers theft of the vehicle and its self-contained parts only. Your homeowners insurance policy may not cover personal property in cars by default. You may have to order a special policy or even a renter’s insurance policy in order to cover the theft of personal property inside a car.

Even if you do manage to secure such a policy, you will not always get the total worth of your stolen items. This is difficult to manage actually, because what does a person regularly keep in his or her vehicle? Usually, the things we leave behind in an automobile change on a regular basis. One week it might be a GPS system worth only $100, and other weeks it could be a $1,000 musical instrument!

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Think Practically When Locking Your Vehicle

Obviously, the best solution is to avoid putting valuable things into a car in the first place. If this is impossible then think about adding thief-deterrent devices like an alarm system. If you must leave valuables in a car, then put them in the trunk or conceal them in a glove compartment or under the seat.

Another defensive technique is to try and park the car inside a garage or behind a locked gate. The majority of cars are stolen from the street or from a parking area. If you do not have a garage then try to pull in towards the house as close as you can. A car closer to home is less attractive to steal; if you park a “junk” car behind your top class sports car then this further complicates theft and is an excellent deterrent.

Take this warning seriously! Research from a well-known insurance provider recently revealed that there has been a 19% increase in car theft in just the last year. If you wish to protect your vehicle from theft, order a comprehensive car insurance policy and make sure theft is covered. If you wish to ensure property inside of your car, make sure that your homeowners insurance policy explicitly lists this special coverage.

If you need help finding homeowners insurance quotes with property protection or auto insurance quotes that cover theft, then use our free tool right now to start shopping online!