Marissa Hayes is a technical editor and contributing writer. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in history, and she was the editor of the literary magazine, The Bluestone Review.

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Written by Marissa Hayes
Insurance Writer & Expert Marissa Hayes

Dan Walker graduated with a BS in Administrative Management in 2005 and has been working in his family’s insurance agency, FCI Agency, for 15 years. He is licensed as an agent to write property and casualty insurance, including home, auto, umbrella, and dwelling fire insurance. He’s also been featured on sites like Reviews.com.

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Reviewed by Daniel Walker
Licensed Car Insurance Agent Daniel Walker

UPDATED: Dec 17, 2021

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The Short of It

  • Car insurance covers the car, not the belongings in it
  • This extends to custom parts, unless you have special coverage
  • Home insurance may cover the items if they’re stolen on your property

Does auto insurance cover private property? When you begin with a full coverage car insurance policy, you may think that your personal belongings are protected. However, car insurance will only cover your car as it left the factory, excluding any custom parts.

While you’re learning about car insurance and private property, enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to see what you could pay for a comprehensive car insurance policy.

Does car insurance cover damage on private property?

When it comes to questions about an accident on private property, answers will vary depending on who was at fault.

But what if something has happened to your personal property inside the car, is it covered under your standard car insurance?

Your car insurance policy might cover accidents and various other incidents involving your car. For instance, a full coverage car insurance policy will insure your vehicle against:

  • Theft
  • Vandalism
  • Liability
  • Collision

While your car insurance will insure the vehicle itself, that doesn’t extend to the private property within the car. So, for example, your car insurance won’t stretch to personal items stolen that weren’t a part of the car when it left the factory.

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Are you covered if your car is damaged on private property?

Insurers are used to filing car insurance claims on private property from a collision, vandalism, or a natural disaster. But is your car covered if something happens to it when you’re on someone else’s private property?

If you have a car accident on a private driveway, you may be found financially liable for the accident, depending on fault. This is because the private property accident laws will hold the person at fault for the damage responsible.

While you can likely get help if you have the right kind of insurance, you won’t be able to get any help if you have a car accident on private property with no insurance.

Enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to check rates in your area.

What are the different types of car insurance coverage?

Several popular car insurance policies can help you get the coverage you need. According to the Insurance Information Institute, there are six types of car insurance coverage you may need.

  • Bodily injury liability – A minimum amount of liability or proof that you could pay the medical bills of someone you injure out of pocket is required in most states.
  • Personal injury protection — This pays for the injuries of those inside the vehicle, including the driver.
  • Property damage liability – This covers any private property damage you cause, and it’s required in most states.
  • Collision – Covers any damage to your vehicle resulting from a collision.
  • Comprehensive – This coverage reimburses you for loss due to theft or damage caused by something other than an accident.
  • Uninsured/Underinsured – If you’re hit by someone who is underinsured or uninsured, this policy will reimburse you for your medical and property costs.

There are many car insurance policy types, and the need for each of them varies.

For instance, someone who keeps their car in a garage may see less need for comprehensive insurance, while someone who parks on the street may need this type of coverage.

What happens to my car insurance rates if I’m in an accident?

If you’re in an accident and file a claim with your insurance company, you may find that your rates go up. This is due to the insurer having to cover the new risk of the accident happening again. You can expect this when you file a claim at most car insurance companies.

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How can I prevent an accident from happening?

It’s like everyone says, accidents happen. However, if you’re repeatedly getting into accidents, it can become a real problem, especially if you have to keep paying for repairs or higher insurance rates.

According to Investopedia, filing a claim could result in a rate hike from 20% to 40%, which can quickly get expensive with repeated claims.

If you’d like to prevent accidents, there are a few things you can do, including:

  • Drive more responsibly, practicing caution
  • Have someone supervise your driving and listen to their tips
  • Limit your passengers until you feel more comfortable
  • Lower radio volume and decrease other distractions as well
  • Train for bad weather by having someone with you at first

Anything you do that makes you more aware of the surrounding area and the dangers you may face should keep you that much safer. As always, you should wear your seatbelt and avoid using cell phones or other devices that take your hands off the wheel.

How can I get the best car insurance rates?

If you want to get better car insurance rates after accidents, you’ll have to prove to your insurer that you aren’t at risk of having another accident. You can do this by going without any tickets and claims for an extended period.

The insurer won’t be likely to raise your rates if you don’t file a claim. Likewise, if the insurer doesn’t have to pay out on the policy, you won’t pay for the increased car insurance rates.

Private Property and Car Insurance: The Bottom Line

Whether or not your car insurance will cover your property damage may depend on your insurance plan. Car insurance insures the car and anything you might damage with it, but not the valuables inside. Car insurance also won’t cover custom parts without special coverage.

Looking for quotes for car insurance that covers private property? Enter your ZIP code into our free quote tool to get an idea of what you could pay.