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Are items blown out of car window covered?


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Question:  Will auto insurance cover items blown out of the window of a moving car?

Answer: Typically items blown out of a car window would not be covered by your car insurance policy. 

If something blows out of a car -- or even if your sunglasses, iPod or cellphone flies out a moving vehicle’s open window because you take a corner too fast – you’re normally just out of luck.

Drivers and other occupants of a vehicle need to store away and secure all of their personal stuff when traveling down the roadway. If the item flies out and causes property damage or injuries, the driver could be held responsible.

State-required liability insurance only covers those that you damage, not your vehicle or personal items.  So, if your item flies out your window and causes harm, your bodily injury liability or property damage liability coverage should cover damages to others, but not any damage your personal item sustained.

Physical damage coverages of collision and comprehensive are offered as a part of a car insurance policy to cover damages to your vehicle – not your personal property. 

Comprehensive does cover theft, but even then personal items stolen out of your vehicle aren’t usually covered unless they were permanently attached to your vehicle from the manufacturer.

This means portable electronics, money or any other loose personal item stolen or lost out the window typically aren't covered by auto insurance.   

Check your homeowners policy, too

However, car insurance companies’ policy terms do vary, so some auto insurers do give some coverage for personal effects.

For example, Erie Insurance includes as part of its physical damage coverage up to $350 (in most states) for the loss of personal property, such as luggage and clothing, but this coverage states it’s for items taken from inside of an insured vehicle.

Other car insurance companies offer personal effects coverage as an endorsement or rider to your physical damage coverage that would cover your personal items.  If you happen to have this extra coverage as part of your policy, it would be up to the terms of the coverage if only stolen items would be covered or if items that are blown out of the vehicle would also be covered.

If the lost item is expensive and worth paying a deductible to make a claim (since usually any claim you file under your physical damage coverages has a deductible associated with it), then you should review your policy and speak to your agent to see if you have coverage that applies to this situation.

Likely you’ll find that your car insurance policy won’t cover the lost item.  If that is the case, then you should talk to your homeowners or renters insurance provider.  Many times personal property that is lost or stolen will be covered under this type of policy.

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