Table of Contents
- Renters insurance doesn’t cover motor vehicles
- Does renters insurance cover car theft?
- Does renters insurance cover theft from my car?
- Does renters insurance cover car damage?
- Does renters insurance cover rental cars?
- I want to protect my car and my personal items. What are my options?
- Other coverage questions
Renters insurance doesn’t cover motor vehicles
Renters insurance never covers cars or other motor vehicles from theft or damage of any kind. That’s because vehicles are covered by other insurance policies — cars are covered by auto insurance, but other types of vehicle insurance like aircraft insurance exist as well.
Insurance companies exclude vehicles from renters insurance because they don’t want their policies to overlap. This is why, in addition to cars, renters insurance also doesn’t cover:
- Mopeds / scooters
- Campers / RVs
- Dune buggies
Does renters insurance cover car theft?
No. Renters insurance covers many types of theft, but car theft isn’t one of them.
Renters insurance also doesn’t insure you against any other kind of motor vehicle theft, including motorcycle theft.
However, if your car is stolen, it might still be worth filing a renters insurance claim, because your policy will cover any possessions that you stored inside the stolen car.
Does renters insurance cover theft from my car?
Yes, renters insurance covers personal items stolen from inside your car. It doesn’t matter whether someone broke in and snatched your things, or whether they stole the car itself — your possessions will still be covered.
However, there might be a cap on how much your insurer will pay for them. Items stored outside your home are often subject to a coverage limit of 10% of your total personal property coverage. That means that if your policy normally provides $30,000 in property coverage, your insurer will reimburse you up to $3,000 for items stolen from your car.
Certain valuable items, including jewelry and electronics, also often have sub-limits which further restrict how much your insurer will pay for them. You can check your policy for details, but it’s probably easier to just not store valuables in your car.
What if my stereo system or radio gets stolen from my car?
As far as your insurer is concerned, individual parts of your car (like your stereo system, subwoofers, or tires) are all part of the car itself. They don’t count as “possessions,” which means renters insurance doesn’t cover them. This is the case whether you have a stock stereo system or an aftermarket stereo.
Identity theft: what if my driver’s license or credit cards get stolen from my car?
If someone steals an item with sensitive personal information, like your driver’s license, state ID, or credit card, that puts you at risk of identity theft.
Identity theft isn’t a covered peril in standard renters insurance policies. Although your insurer might reimburse you for the cost of replacing your ID (if it exceeds your renters insurance deductible), they won’t cover any other financial losses that come from getting your identity stolen.
Fortunately, many insurers offer identity theft endorsements to cover situations like that, often for a very low price. For example, Allstate lets you add $25,000 in identity theft coverage for about $2 per month.
Will renters insurance cover a borrowed item stolen from my car?
Renters insurance usually covers items that somebody loaned to you. If your friend’s items get stolen from your car, there’s a good chance that your insurer will reimburse you for them, even though you weren’t the original purchaser.
In the hopefully unlikely scenario that your friend seeks further compensation by taking you to small claims court or suing you for negligence, your policy’s liability coverage will also kick in and take care of your legal fees. (However, if that happens, please get new friends.)
Does renters insurance cover car damage?
No, renters insurance never covers damage to your car. It doesn’t cover either of the following circumstances:
Your renters insurance policy won’t cover damage to your car if you get into an accident. However, it will cover items inside your car that get broken by the accident.
Car vandalism and slashed tires
Renters insurance doesn’t cover any kind of car vandalism, including broken windows, slashed tires, and keying. You’ll have to file an auto insurance claim to get reimbursed for the repairs.
Does renters insurance cover rental cars?
No, renters insurance doesn’t cover your rental car from theft or damage. (However, theft from your rental car is covered.)
Usually, your auto insurance will cover damage to your rental, but that depends on several factors.
When you rent a car, the rental company will give you the option to purchase something called a Collision Damage Waiver (CDW) or Loss Damage Waiver (LDW), which is like an additional insurance policy that applies to your rental car.
If you bought a CDW or LDW and your rental car gets damaged, the rental company will pay for the repairs themselves. If you chose not to buy one, the money will be taken out of the security deposit you paid when you picked up the car.
Auto insurance usually covers rental cars
Most auto insurance policies cover rentals, so if the accident was one that your policy would normally cover (e.g. it was a collision and you have collision coverage), your provider will reimburse you for any money that you have to pay out of your security deposit (minus your deductible).
I want to protect my car and my personal items. What are my options?
There are two options you can explore when looking to protect both your car and your personal property. You can bundle renters and auto insurance together, or you can buy each policy separately.
Option 1: Bundle your renters and auto insurance
Many insurers allow you to buy renters and auto insurance together. This is called bundling, and it’s usually the most cost-effective way to get renters insurance, since most providers apply heavy discounts when you buy more than one policy.
In most circumstances, we recommend this approach. In addition to being cheaper, consolidating your insurance policies is a good way to simplify your finances and save yourself from headaches.
Option 2: Purchase renters and auto insurance separately
There are situations where having separate policies is the way to go — mainly when you already have auto insurance and want to take advantage of something special that a different insurer provides.
Let’s say you already have auto insurance from Allstate. Although they’re probably your cheapest option if you want renters insurance, maybe you’re interested in Jetty’s bed bug coverage or Lemonade’s user-friendly mobile app, neither of which Allstate offers.
Because renters insurance is so cheap (the average monthly cost of renters insurance is about $15), opting for the insurer you really want will only set you back a few extra dollars per month.
Other coverage questions
Renters insurance doesn’t cover your car, but it does cover a lot of other things. Check out our other posts to learn whether renters insurance covers:
- Water damage
- Bed bugs
- Storage units
- Food loss
- Dog bites
- Wedding or engagement rings
- Hotel stays