Does my car insurance cover any items stolen?

Have you ever left your favourite sunnies or your camera in the car while you ducked across to the shops only to discover that your car had been broken into and your favourite specs have been stolen? 

Surely car insurance covers this stuff, right?  Not necessarily. If your car is broken into, damaged or stolen, not all of your items might be covered. Ultimately it comes down to your insurance company and what is included in your policy, as some insurers will cover you for particular items or pay you up to a certain amount.

RateCity randomly picked three car insurance companies to find out what they offered when personal items are damaged or stolen in a car.

Westpac Car Insurance
Westpac states that they will pay you up to $750 for any loss or damage to personal items per event with up to $500 for any one item. This includes any loss or damage to personal items or clothing belonging to either yourself or members of your family that were in your vehicle when it was in an accident, received fire damage, broken into or if your vehicle is stolen.

Coles Car Insurance
Coles will pay up to a maximum of $500 for personal property that is stolen or damaged, if you have comprehensive car insurance.  It does not cover GP devices or mobile phones unless you have their comprehensive plus package. The supermarket giant will also pay you for the costs of replacing your groceries if they are damaged in a car accident or if your car is stolen – up to $200 under their comprehensive insurance and up to $400 under their comprehensive plus insurance.

Virgin Money Car Insurance
Virgin Money‘s “Price Promise” insurance will pay customers up to $250 for any personal effects that were damaged if involved in a collision only. This also includes any damage caused to child seats and baby capsules.  Virgin’s premium “Price Saver” insurance will pay up to $500 for any personal effects and up to another $500 for child seats – in the case of an accident and theft.

So whether your personal items are covered and how much you will receive differs between car insurance providers. Be sure to read the product disclosure statement (PDS) before signing, as this will tell you exactly what you are covered for, what you aren’t and how much you are likely to receive if your camera or favourite sunglasses were stolen or damaged, if they’re covered at all.

Last but not least

Just as it’s important to shop around for car insurance, it’s also important to shop around for car loans.

You might be shocked to learn that the gap between the lowest-rate loan and the highest-rate loan can be as much as 12 percentage points. This can cost you thousands of dollars, as you’ll see if you punch the figures into a car loan calculator.

Imagine you borrowed $15,000 over five years. Here’s how much you’d have to repay under five different scenarios:

Rate Monthly repayments Total repayments
6% $290 $17,399
9% $311 $18,682
12% $334 $20,020
15% $357 $21,411
18% $381 $22,854



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