Question: I had some tools that were stolen from my truck. They took a chainsaw, two gas cans, a maul and three chains that are worth about $1,160 altogether. I have a $500 comprehensive deductible. Is this the coverage that this would all go under?
Answer: While comprehensive coverage is the portion of a car insurance policy that theft goes under, unfortunately, it's unlikely that it would cover your tools that were stolen. It's possible that your homeowners insurance might, though.
Personal auto insurance policies normally do not cover personal contents that are stolen out of your vehicle. The rule of thumb is if it’s not “bolted down” to the vehicle, it wouldn’t be covered if it’s stolen out of your vehicle.
Tools and other personal possessions, such as a laptop, CDs, and personal DVD players, aren’t covered by auto insurance. If the items aren’t put in by the manufacturer and not permanently attached to the vehicle, then if your truck is broken into and the items are stolen you aren’t usually covered by your car insurance for the items.
If the tools that were stolen out of your truck were used for business purposes, then it would be possible to have them covered if you hold a commercial (business) policy on the truck that you attached a rider to for the tools.
With this coverage, you pay more to insure your tools. At the inception of the tool rider, you would take an inventory of all the tools you wanted to insure, list the model and serial number and the cost of each tool, and submit it to the insurer. Then, if they were stolen, you could make a claim with your business policy and have your tools covered, minus your deductible amount.
You can contact your car insurance company and inform them of the theft, and discuss what may be covered under your comprehensive coverage. For instance, if the person damaged your vehicle in any way when stealing the tools or broke a window on the truck, these items should be covered by your comprehensive coverage, minus your $500 deductible.
What insurance might cover your tools is your homeowners policy. If your car insurance company says you aren’t covered for the tools, which is most likely, then contact your home insurance company to see if it will cover the nearly $1,200 worth of tools, minus the deductible that would apply.
Whatever you do, make sure you contact the police and report the theft. You will need the report for an insurance claim, and there is also a chance that the police could catch the thief and recover your tools.