Personal Belonging Cover In Car Insurance

You decide to dine out with your family. After parking your car on the side of the road, you head to the restaurant. As you return to your car after dinner, you find that your windows are smashed, and your laptop has been stolen. Since you own a comprehensive car insurance policy, it will cover your window repair costs. But what about your personal belongings that were stolen? Typically, any car insurance policy shall not cover the damage caused to your personal items. So, how will you cover the loss?

This is where an add-on called personal belongings cover helps you. Your insurer will compensate you for the loss of any personal items in your car in the event of theft/accidental damage/fire accident.

Let’s have a look at the personal belongings cover is, its inclusions and exclusions, and the claims process for the same in this article.

What Is A Personal Belongings Cover?

In case of an accident or theft, a personal belongings cover shall cover the loss or damage caused to the personal belongings in your car. All personal belongings like smartphones, cameras, laptops, etc., will be covered under this policy.

In the event where pesonal belongings are damaged or stolen from your vehicle, the insurance company will reimburse you for it. It is a cover that can be added to a comprehensive policy or a standalone own damage policy. You can add a personal belongings cover to your policy by paying an additional premium.

Personal Belongings Cover in Motor Insurance

What Situations Are Included Under A Personal Belongings Cover?

A personal belongings cover will provide financial protection against -

  • Damages Due To Fire

    Any damage caused to your items present in your car due to fire. Will be covered under personal belongings cover Let's say you kept your mobile phone in the glove box of your car. The car caught fire accidentally and your phone underwent a lot of damage. You are entitled to receive compensation for the same.

  • Accidental Damages

    Any damages caused to your personal items present in the car during an accident shall also be covered by personal belongings cover. Let's say a car hits you from behind resulting in your camera getting broken due to the impact. In this case, you shall receive compensation for the damaged camera.

  • Theft

    If any item is stolen from your car, the personal belongings cover shall cover the loss. Say someone broke into your car and stole your smartphone. You can file a claim for the same.

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What Are The Exclusions Of Personal Belongings Cover?

The personal belonging cover does not cover certain situations. These exclusions will be clearly described in the policy wordings and might differ from insurer to insurer. Make sure that you are well informed about the policy's exclusions before purchasing it.

Here's a list of situations the personal belongings cover shall not cover -

If any theft/ damage is caused due to your negligence. For example, you forgot to lock your car before going to a grocery shop, and someone took your wallet. The personal belonging shall not cover the loss.

Loss or damage of any personal belonging left unattended in a public place.

If the item present in your car is hired or borrowed, the personal belongings cover shall not provide coverage if it gets lost or damaged.

If any documents in your car are found to be missing/damaged.

If you fail to mention any of the lost belongings in the FIR.

If you leave your personal belongings in a vehicle overnight that gets lost or damaged.

How Do You Raise A Claim Under A Personal Belonging Cover?

Here are the steps that you should follow for a seamless claim process -

  • Report the theft case or inform about the damage to the police and file an FIR with all the relevant details, including a complete list of the lost or damaged personal items.

  • You must also inform the insurance company about the loss or damage of the personal belongings in order to file a claim.

  • To register an insurance claim, you will be required to provide certain documents to your insurer. These documents include:

    Duly filled claim form

    A copy of the FIR

    Invoice of the personal belongings that were damaged or lost/stolen

    Any other documents as requested by the insurer

  • Once all the details have been verified, the insurance company will process the claim and reimburse the amount as per the terms and conditions.

  • If an item is lost or damaged, the amount payable will be determined after considering the depreciation cost for that item.

This table lays down the percentage of depreciation as per the age of your belongings -

Age of the asset Depreciation percentage

Up to 6 months

10%

Up to 1 year

20%

Up to 2 year

40%

Up to 3 year

50%

Up to 4 year

60%

Up to 5 year

70%

More than 5 years

75%

Note: The depreciation percentage may differ from insurer to insurer, so it is imperative to check your policy.

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Let's Understand How The Depreciation Percentage Will Affect The Claim Amount With An Example

Raj was on his way to his work when his car collided with another vehicle. His laptop got destroyed completely due to the impact. He decides to file a claim for the laptop loss since he has a personal belongings add-on. In the event of a claim, the insurer will pay the compensation amount after considering the depreciation percentage. If the laptop is two years old and its price was Rs 80,000 when he bought it, the claim amount he shall receive for the laptop will factor in the depreciation percentage of 40% on the retail value of the laptop according to the table above. This shall determine the claim amount payable to Raj.

Claim amount payable -

Depreciation = 40% of Rs. 80,000

= Rs.32,000

Claim amount = Laptop price - Depreciation

= Rs.80,000 – Rs.32,000

= Rs.48,000

So, Raj shall receive Rs. 48,000 as the claim amount.

A personal belongings cover is definitely a good choice to cover your valuable possessions. Now that you are aware of the inclusions and exclusions of the personal belongings cover, we are certain that you can go ahead and decide whether to purchase it not.

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