Filing a Claim After a Car Break-In

Car break-inOh, no! Your car got broken into while you were shopping. Your window is smashed, and the bags of Christmas presents that were on the back seat are gone. What should you do now? Here are some tips about which insurance policy you should file a claim to.

It can be very stressful to discover that your vehicle has been broken into. No one anticipates this happening. There goes whatever amount of holiday spirit you had while shopping! If you have insurance coverage you might be able to file a claim to help you with the financial aspects the the unfortunate experience.

Broken car window
Your first impulse might be to file a claim for a broken car window with your car insurance company. Hopefully, you have comprehensive coverage. According to, comprehensive coverage pays for damages to your car that were not the result of a car accident. This includes theft and vandalism. If you only have liability coverage, your insurer might deny your claim.

Missing GPS
The thief that broke into your car took your GPS. It’s gone! Your first impulse might be to file a claim for it with your car insurance company. This is probably not going to be helpful. According to, personal property that was stolen from your car during a break-in is not covered by your auto insurance policy.

Instead, recommends that you file a claim for your GPS with your homeowners insurance company. You have a better chance of having that claim approved if you can prove that you really did have a GPS in your car before the break-in. Show your insurer a photo or video of it that you took long before the break-in happened.

Stolen Christmas Presents
This is a tricky situation. Your car insurance is not likely to cover the stolen Christmas presents because they would be considered personal property. Your homeowners insurance isn’t likely to cover it either, because it will be hard to prove that the items that the thief stole were in your car when the break-in occurred.

If you left the receipts in the bag, then you won’t have them to use as proof of exactly what you purchased and the precise amount you paid for each item. It might be a good idea to make a police report about the theft. Ask a store manager if their parking lot has a surveillance camera. Perhaps the camera captured the moment when the thief broke into your vehicle!

Image by Twanda Baker on Flickr