Preventing theft from your car

It's easy to leave stuff in your car when you make a quick stop at the gym or grocery store. And it's just as easy for thieves to take advantage of the situation and swipe your valuables.

Protecting your valuables

If your car is broken into, you may be surprised to learn that many basic auto insurance policies cover only permanent, factory-installed items. Check with your Allied Auto Insurance or Allied Homeowners Insurance agent to be sure your homeowner's policy covers other personal property in case of a car burglary.

You can prevent many thefts from your car with these common sense guidelines:

  • Lock your doors and close your windows—even for quick stops. Many thefts are simple "crimes of opportunity", such as an unlocked door.
  • Don't leave cell phones, sunglasses, bags or other personal property sitting on the seat or floor of your car. If spotted by a thief, a smash and grab can occur in less than 15 seconds.
  • Covering items with a blanket or jacket isn't a great idea because it might make a thief think you are hiding something expensive.
  • Make use of closed compartments in your car, such as the trunk and glove box. In SUVs and hatchbacks, there may be hidden compartments in the floor in the back, or covers you can attach to the cargo area so thieves can't see what you're storing.
  • Consider installing a car alarm.

Plan ahead

If you drive to a nature trail or amusement park, you won't want to carry much with you. Protect your valuables by leaving everything at home or the office, and take just your driver's license and keys. Thieves often target cars at parks and trails, because they know people tend to leave bulky purses and briefcases behind — and for long periods of time.

Try to think of other situations when you won't be able to take your valuables inside with you. Stores often frown on people bringing in large bags. Courthouses and other government buildings sometimes prohibit cell phones or computers. Keep this in mind when planning your day, and leave your important personal possessions somewhere safe.

Think like a thief

Protecting your valuables is easier if you think like a bad guy. Thieves know a round suction cup mark on the windshield means you probably have a detachable GPS somewhere in your car. A dangling charger means there is a good chance your cell phone is within reach.

Product, coverage, discounts, insurance terms, definitions, and other descriptions are intended for informational purposes only and do not in any way replace or modify the definitions and information contained in your individual insurance contracts, policies, and/or declaration pages from Allied-affiliated underwriting companies, which are controlling. Such products, coverage, terms, and discounts may vary by state and exclusions may apply.