Does Car Insurance Cover Broken Windows From Theft?


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Updated: May 31, 2024

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If someone breaks your car window to steal something from inside or damages the window during a theft attempt, comprehensive coverage should cover the cost of repair or replacement minus your deductible. Note that comprehensive coverages will only cover repairs or replacements, not the stolen items.

If you have personal property coverage as part of your homeowners or renters insurance, you might be reimbursed for items stolen from your car. This coverage is separate from car insurance and has its own limits and deductibles.

Key Takeaways

Comprehensive car insurance covers damage to your vehicle caused by theft, including broken windows, stolen parts and interior damage.

Before filing a claim for a broken window, consider the repair cost versus your deductible and potential premium increase.

Personal property stolen from your car is usually not covered by car insurance, but it may be covered under your homeowners or renters insurance.

Theft-Related Damages Covered by Comprehensive Insurance

Comprehensive car insurance typically covers broken windows resulting from theft and other damages (up to your policy limits) caused during the break-in or theft, such as:

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    Damaged locks or ignition

    Repairs would be covered if the thief tampered with the locks or ignition.

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    Stolen car parts

    Comprehensive insurance would cover the replacement cost if the thief stole components like the stereo, GPS, tires or catalytic converter. If you've upgraded or customized certain parts, additional coverage, like custom parts and equipment (CPE) insurance, might be necessary to cover the full value of those items.

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    Interior damage

    Any damage to the car's interior caused by the thief, such as ripped upholstery, a damaged dashboard or broken seats, would also be covered.

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    Paint damage

    If the thief scratched or damaged the car's paint during the break-in or while driving it, comprehensive insurance would cover the cost of repainting.

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    Body damage

    Comprehensive insurance would cover repairs if the thief caused dents, dings or other damage to the car's body.

Types of Car Insurance Coverages You Can Use After Theft

Experiencing a car break-in and theft can be a stressful and costly ordeal. Fortunately, your car insurance policy might offer various types of coverage to help you recover from the incident. Below are types of insurance coverages that could come to your aid in the aftermath of a theft:

Coverage Type
What It Covers

Comprehensive Coverage

Covers the repair or replacement of broken windows resulting from theft, vandalism or other non-collision-related incidents.

Full Glass Coverage

Covers the repair or replacement of broken windows and windshields, specifically due to theft, without requiring a deductible.

Provides emergency services, such as towing, if your car is vandalized or broken into and left inoperable due to theft.

Reimburses you for the cost of a rental car while your vehicle is being repaired after a theft-related incident.

Covers the cost of personal items stolen from your vehicle. If you have homeowners or renters insurance, this coverage typically extends to personal property stolen from your car, regardless of location.

Always check your policy for specifics, as coverage can vary. You could also check with your insurance agent about the coverage details.

How to File an Insurance Claim for a Broken Window From Theft

To file an insurance claim for a broken window from theft, start by contacting your insurance company as soon as possible. The following steps will guide you through the process:

1
Document the damage

Take clear photos and notes of the broken window and any other damage caused by the theft.

2
Contact the police

Report the theft and get a copy of the police report for your insurance claim.

3
Review your policy

Double-check your coverage details and comprehensive car insurance deductible to understand your out-of-pocket costs.

4
Contact your insurer

Notify your insurer about the incident and provide it with all relevant details and documentation, like the police report and photos.

5
Get repair estimates

Obtain estimates for the repair or replacement of the broken window from reputable auto repair shops.

While there's no universal deadline for filing a comprehensive claim, most insurance companies expect you to report the incident and file your claim "promptly" — typically within a few days to a week after the theft. However, some insurers may have stricter time frames, so it's important to review your policy or contact your agent as soon as possible.

Failing to report a claim in a timely manner could potentially jeopardize your coverage, as insurers may question the claim's validity or argue that you didn't take reasonable steps to mitigate the damage.

Sometimes, paying for the repair out of pocket might be cheaper than filing a claim. Before calling your insurer, consider the repair cost compared to your deductible and the potential increase in your premiums.

What to Consider Before Filing a Claim

Sometimes, paying for the repair out of pocket might be cheaper than filing a claim. Before calling your insurer, consider the repair cost compared to your deductible and the potential increase in your premiums.

Do File a Claim

  • If the repair cost exceeds your deductible
  • If your insurer offers full glass coverage, which waives or reduces your deductible
  • If you have a low or no deductive for glass repair

Do Not File a Claim

  • If the repair cost is less than your deductible
  • If you have a history of frequent claims, your insurer might increase your premium come your policy renewal

You generally don't have to tell your insurer about a damaged window if you don't intend to file a claim. But if the damage could worsen or lead to additional problems — such as water damage from a leaking window — it might be worth documenting the incident with your insurer in case you need to file a claim later. If you change your mind, you can cancel a car insurance claim with no impact on your premiums.

If the damage was due to vandalism or a break-in, filing a police report might be necessary, and your insurer may want a copy for their records.

Ultimately, it is your decision whether or not to inform your insurer about a damaged window. Weighing the potential benefits and drawbacks can help you make an informed choice.

How Filing a Claim Affects Your Premiums

Filing a claim for a broken window after a theft can impact your car insurance premiums in a few ways:

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    Premium increase

    Insurers often raise car insurance premiums after you file a claim, as you are considered a higher risk. The rate increase can vary depending on the insurer and the specifics of your policy. Using comprehensive coverage for a theft-related claim might result in a smaller premium increase than at-fault accident claims. Comprehensive claims generally have less impact on premiums than collision claims.

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    Claims history

    Your insurance record will reflect the claim, and future insurers might view you as a higher risk. A history of making claims could affect your ability to get lower rates or discounts.

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    Frequency of claims

    Insurers may be more likely to increase your premiums if you have a history of multiple claims, even small ones like a broken window. They assess risk based on the frequency and type of claims filed.

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    Deductible

    If the repair cost is close to your deductible, your insurer may choose not to raise your premium.

FAQ: Car Insurance Coverage for Broken Windows From Theft

Theft-related incidents can raise questions about your car insurance coverage. Here are answers to some frequently asked questions:

Does car insurance cover a broken window from a break-in?
Will car insurance go up after a break-in?
Does insurance cover airbag theft?

About Mark Fitzpatrick


Mark Fitzpatrick headshot

Mark Fitzpatrick has analyzed the property and casualty insurance market for over five years, conducting original research and creating personalized content for every kind of buyer. Currently, he leads P&C insurance content production at MoneyGeek. Fitzpatrick has been quoted in several insurance-related publications, including CNBC, NBC News and Mashable.

Fitzpatrick earned a master’s degree in economics and international relations from Johns Hopkins University and a bachelor’s degree from Boston College. He is passionate about using his knowledge of economics and insurance to bring transparency around financial topics and help others feel confident in their money moves.