Personal possessions cover with car insurance

Keep your belongings safe when they’re in your car and see if you need personal possessions cover.

Alice Lloyd
Alice Lloyd
Updated 27 September 2021  | 4 min read

Does car insurance cover personal belongings?

Most comprehensive car insurance policies include cover for your personal items when you leave them in the car.

Out of 325 comprehensive car insurance policies on Defaqto, 95% covered personal belongings as standard.[1]

Key points

  • Personal possessions cover insures your belongings when they’re left in your car
  • Comprehensive policies often include personal possessions cover; third party, fire and theft policies usually don’t
  • Cover limits can be low, but you can take personal possession cover out with your home insurance for greater protection

It’s a different story with third party, fire and theft policies though – just 6% of 148 policies included personal possessions cover as standard and most won’t let you add it as an optional extra either.[1]


How much personal possessions cover is included in car insurance?

Even if you do have cover, try to avoid leaving valuable items in your car. Of the comprehensive policies that did include personal possession cover as standard, just 17% covered possessions worth £400 or more.
Most policies had a much lower level of cover, with just under 50% having up to £250.[1]

Cover for sat-navs and car stereos

The good news is that in-car electronics like sat-navs and stereos usually have separate cover on car insurance. When we checked, 97% of comprehensive policies included cover for factory-fitted audio equipment and sat-nav systems.
For separate stereos and sat-navs, 90% of the policies included cover for audio equipment and 87% for sat-navs.[1]


Exclusions from personal possessions cover

Even if your car insurance policy does include cover for your possessions left in the car, exclusions are common. Look out for:

Tips to keep your possessions safe

  • Don’t leave anything on show - Even in a locked vehicle use gloveboxes, door pockets and the boot
  • Empty your car if you’re going away - Open the glove box and remove your boot cover to show there’s nothing to steal
  • Clear out your car regularly - Avoid a build-up of things like clothing, tools and electronics

Cover possessions in your car with home insurance

Personal possessions cover can have so many exclusions that it might be worth looking at your home contents insurance for better cover.

Insurance for personal possessions outside the home can be added as an optional extra on your contents insurance, and allows you to specify cover for more expensive items like laptops or jewellery.


Excess and future premiums

When you make a claim for the loss of personal possessions under your car or home insurance you’ll probably have to pay an excess towards your claim.

You could also lose your no-claims bonus and your future premiums might be more expensive.

Because of this, if the items are low value, you might be better off covering the cost yourself.


What to do if my car contents are stolen?

If you notice your car has been damaged and things are missing, then call your local police on the non-emergency number, 101.

If you actually catch someone trying to break into your car, call 999 for an emergency response.

In either case, you’ll need a crime reference number from the police to give to your insurance company to start a claim.

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[1]Last checked 3 January 2023