Loss of Personal Belongings Cover in Car Insurance

One of the worst nightmares of any car-owner is to get their car broken into or worse, the whole vehicle stolen! It will be even more inconvenient if any valuable possessions kept safely in your car were stolen along with it. This unwanted situation can be death with a comprehensive car insurance policy that provides you a cover for loss of personal belongings.

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Why Should You Buy a Loss of Personal Belongings Cover?

Before we proceed, we need to familiarize ourselves with the different types of four-wheeler insurance plans you may or may not be aware of. 

Scenario 1: You went to a mall; returned after a few hours and realized your car is missing.

In this case, if you only happen to have the government-mandated liability-only policy (also known as a third-party car insurance plan) then you will not be compensated for any damages or loss as this policy only covers damages caused to the third party.

Scenario 2: You went for a movie and returned to find your car along with all your belongings stolen.

In such a case, if you happen to have a comprehensive four-wheeler insurance plan then you'll be covered for theft. After informing the police and receiving your vehicle's Insured Declared Value (IDV) you can get your claim amount. But unfortunately, your personal items in the car would not be covered for.

This is where a loss of personal belongings cover comes to your rescue. Your personal belongings like your phone or laptop will be covered for if you have this add-on in your motor insurance plan.

Scenario 3: You parked your car to quickly shop from some street-side vendors. You return and find your car's window broken and your phone and laptop missing!

In this case too, a basic comprehensive four-wheeler plan will only reimburse you for the costs of repairs and other damages to your car. But it will not cover your stolen personal items. With a loss of personal belongings cover, you can claim compensation for your personal belongings easily.

What Does Loss of Personal Belongings Cover Include?

This add-on for loss of personal belongings is usually purchased at an extra premium. Depending on the insurance provider, there may be following types of loss of personal belongings add-ons to choose from:

  • Personal belonging cover for electronic equipments
  • Personal belonging cover for damages
  • Personal belonging cover for theft

Please keep in mind that different insurance providers may provide one, all, none or a mix of these depending on their policy wordings. This is why you should definitely be careful of the exclusions that come with a policy's fine print.

When Is Personal Belongings Cover Not Applicable?

There are always a few exceptions and scenarios that a person should be aware of before buying any policy. Your loss will not be covered by the car insurance provider in the following situations:

  • If damages were as a result of your own carelessness (forgetting to lock your car or windows)
  • If jewelry and other valuables weren't carried in a locked safe-deposit box by the insured
  • Any loss of data stored in an electrical device
  • If you failed to report the incident to the police within 24 hours of discovery
  • If you left your personal items in the vehicle overnight
  • If the lost article is not your own property but borrowed from someone else
  • Loss or damage caused due to any wear and tear, atmospheric/climatic conditions, etc.
  • If the loss arises from the confiscation or detention of lawful officials or authorities
  • Any consequential damage that may arise out of loss of use or delay etc.
  • If the claim has not been supplemented with proper documentation and other important details

What To Do If Your Car Gets Stolen?

If at all such an unfortunate situation ever arises, you must immediately take necessary steps after this theft without fail. Make sure that you keep these steps in mind if you want to get benefits of the loss of personal belongings add-on:

Step 1: Contact the police and file an FIR

Step 2: Contact your insurer and notify them of the theft. The company may require details like the insured's policy number, date and time of the theft, location of the loss, etc.

Step 3: Contact the RTO (Road Transportation Office) and inform them about your stolen vehicle. A transfer of ownership will be required.

Step 4: Prepare all the relevant documents namely a copy of the FIR, documents related to the policy, completed claims form, your driving license, and registration certificate, and the transfer papers from the RTO.

Step 5: Make sure you've received a 'no-trace’ report from the police to prove that your car is still missing.

These should be the required steps to file a claim for car theft; however, some insurance companies may have varying requirements. You should carefully read the policy wording or contact an agent in case of any doubts.

Things to Remember

You must remember that the amount reimbursed after the claim settlement may be significantly lesser because of the depreciation cost of your vehicle/personal belongings. This depreciation value is calculated based on the asset's age. Your insurer will determine this value as per their policy.

You should also be aware of any special conditions that may be a part of your motor insurance policy. Some insurance providers also declare that the insured must bear a certain amount of co-payment of the admissible claim amount with respect to every claim they make. 

To ensure maximum benefit, you can compare and buy the best car insurance plan on Policybazaar.com for more details.

In a nutshell,

It is very important that the four-wheeler insurance plan you buy is a comprehensive plan. Keeping in mind that theft is pretty common around us, it is suggested that you opt for a provider which offers loss of personal belongings covers in a car insurance policy.

Written By: PolicyBazaar - Updated: 06 September 2021
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