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You never head out on a road trip without your music player, camera and GPS. But you don’t always bring them with you when you stop to grab a coffee. If you’re unlucky enough to have them stolen, will you be reimbursed?

What your automobile insurance covers

Auto insurance covers Items permanently attached to the insured vehicle, those that are used seasonally, and those that are necessary to the operation of the vehicle.

Examples: your GPS unit, winter or summer tires, child safety seat, ski rack, bike rack, etc.

What your home insurance covers

All other items that aren’t used exclusively in or for the insured vehicle are covered under your residential policy. This is why it’s so important to have home insurance, even if you rent rather than own your home!

Examples: mobile phone, laptop, tablet, camera, baby stroller, sunglasses, coat/jacket, etc.

Mixed coverage

Say someone steals your roof rack (a permanently attached item) containing your skis (items that aren’t used exclusively in the insured vehicle).

Would you be covered by your auto insurance, or your home insurance?

In this particular case, the roof rack would be covered by the auto insurance, while the contents would be covered by your home insurance policy. You would therefore have to file two claims, but there would be only one deductible charged (the insurer would choose the higher of the two).

Check the value and scope of your coverage

Insurance policies may have certain restrictions and limitations. Check whether yours do.
For instance, your home insurance might reimburse you for a stolen bicycle up to a certain amount. If you own a high-end bike, you will have to make sure the coverage you’re entitled to is sufficient compensation for your loss in case of theft.

Consider as well that the amount of your premium corresponds to the value of the items you declared when you purchased your policy. It’s therefore essential that you tell your insurer about any change or addition of accessories.

This applies to your auto insurance (e.g., addition of a roof rack, high-performance speakers, “mag” wheels) as well as your home insurance (e.g., if you’ve installed a spa), even during the term of the policy.

Depending on the value of the item or accessory, your premium may be adjusted.

Always be careful

When you leave your car, take care to not leave any items in plain view inside.

If you’re out shopping, put purchased items in the trunk. Refrain from parking in isolated, dimly lit areas. And, of course, don’t forget to lock your doors!