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Does Liability Insurance Cover Theft?

Does Liability Insurance Cover Theft? Unpacking Auto Insurance Myths

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Does Liability Insurance Cover Theft? Unpacking Auto Insurance Myths

As an insurance expert with a decade’s experience at Hotaling Insurance Services and a mother to two, I’m often asked: does liability insurance cover theft? The straightforward answer is no. Liability insurance provides coverage for damages to other people’s property or injuries in accidents where you are at fault, but it does not cover the theft of your vehicle or personal property stolen from within it.

Understanding the Scope of Liability Insurance

Liability insurance is a crucial component of auto insurance policies, designed to protect you financially if you’re responsible for causing damage or injury to others. However, when it comes to the theft of your vehicle or belongings inside it, liability insurance offers no coverage. This limitation often comes as a surprise to many vehicle owners, highlighting the importance of understanding your insurance policy’s specifics.

Comprehensive Coverage: Your Shield Against Theft

For protection against theft, vehicle owners should consider comprehensive coverage. This form of insurance is designed to cover non-collision-related incidents, including theft, vandalism, and natural disasters. If your car is stolen, comprehensive coverage can provide a check for the car’s actual cash value (ACV), provided it’s not recovered. Additionally, comprehensive insurance may cover damage from theft, such as broken windows or locks, if the vehicle is eventually recovered.

Beyond Auto Insurance: Covering Personal Property Theft

It’s also vital to understand that personal property stolen from your car may fall under the purview of homeowners or renters insurance, not your auto policy. Items like electronics, personal belongings, and other valuables taken from your vehicle typically require a separate claim through your property insurance policy.

Custom Parts and Gap Coverage

For those with aftermarket modifications, Custom Parts and Equipment (CPE) coverage may be necessary, offering protection beyond standard comprehensive policies. And if you owe more on your car loan than the ACV payout from a comprehensive claim, gap coverage can bridge this financial gap, safeguarding against significant out-of-pocket expenses.

Preventive Measures and Insurance Discounts

While selecting the right insurance coverage is critical, taking proactive steps to prevent auto theft is also advisable. Simple actions like locking your doors, using anti-theft devices, and parking in secure, well-lit areas can deter thieves. Additionally, many insurance companies offer discounts for vehicles equipped with anti-theft systems, which can lower your premiums while enhancing your car’s security.

Conclusion: Making Informed Insurance Choices

Liability insurance does not cover theft, underscoring the importance of comprehensive coverage for those seeking protection against such incidents. By understanding the limitations of different insurance types and taking preventive measures, you can ensure your vehicle and personal belongings are adequately protected. As always, reviewing your policy details and consulting with your insurance agent can help you make informed decisions tailored to your unique needs.


  • Do car insurance policies cover theft?
    Comprehensive insurance policies cover theft of the vehicle itself, but not personal property stolen from inside the car.
  • Does normal insurance cover theft?
    “Normal” or liability insurance does not cover theft; comprehensive coverage is required for this protection.
  • What does liability insurance protect against and not cover?
    Liability insurance covers damages to others’ property or injuries in accidents you’re at fault for but does not cover theft of your vehicle or personal property.
  • Does comprehensive insurance mean full coverage?
    Comprehensive insurance is part of what’s often referred to as “full coverage,” which typically includes both comprehensive and collision insurance.
  • Does full coverage cover vandalism?
    Yes, full coverage, which includes comprehensive insurance, typically covers vandalism.
  • Does insurance cover airbag theft?
    Comprehensive insurance may cover airbag theft, as it falls under theft and vandalism protection.
  • What if my purse was stolen out of my car?
    Stolen personal items, like a purse, would generally be covered under homeowners or renters insurance, not auto insurance.

Always consult with an insurance professional to tailor your coverage to your individual needs and circumstances. Contact us today to get insured for classic cars and luxury vehicles. It’s our specialty.


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