Auto vs. Home Insurance: If Your Car is Stolen Off Your Driveway, Who Pays?

Imagine that one day you walk out of your house, car key or fob in hand, and your car isn't there. Someone has stolen your car right out of your driveway! What can you do? First, you should report the theft to the police. Second, if you have the proper auto and home insurance coverage and have kept records of your car's VIN and license and items you may have left in the car, you can submit a claim to your insurance company.

Does auto or home insurance pay for a car that's stolen from your driveway?

If you have comprehensive auto insurance coverage, your car insurance company will pay for your stolen car, less the deductible on your policy. Most car insurance companies determine how much they'll pay for a stolen car based on actual cash value. Actual cash value is determined through a combination of dealers, local sales, insurance company information, and records from companies like CARFAX Canada.

Your home insurance will not pay for your car if it's stolen out of your driveway.

Why is it important to have comprehensive car insurance coverage?

Comprehensive auto insurance coverage may pay for a stolen car, and it also includes damage to your car while it's parked at home or away from home.

Some people forego comprehensive coverage if they own an older car. The reason? Some financial advisors recommend that if the comprehensive portion of your auto policy costs more than 10 percent of your car's actual cash value, it isn't worth it to continue to carry comprehensive car insurance.

If you don't have comprehensive coverage, your car insurance won't pay if your car is stolen out of your driveway.

What will home insurance cover in case my car is stolen?

While it won't pay for your stolen car, your home insurance can cover personal items that may have been in the car when it has been stolen, less your deductible. Your home insurance policy may cover replacement costs for laptops, tablets, or other electronic devices. If you have a car stereo built-in to your car's dash, your auto policy will cover it. If it's a plug-in, separate system, this may be covered under your home policy.

What can you do to prevent your car from being stolen?

According to the Toronto Police, you should never hide a spare key inside your car. Lock your doors and windows every time and take the keys with you. If you have a garage, use it consistently.

You can also:

• Back rear-wheel drive cars into your driveway to make it harder to tow your car away.

• Park front-wheel drive cars front-end first (also to make it harder to tow your car).

• Always set your emergency brake.

• Turn your wheels to the side.

• Lock all valuables in your trunk.

• Don't leave valuables, including your phone, in plain view while running in a store or otherwise leaving your vehicle.

No one wants to leave for work in the morning and discover an empty driveway because someone has stolen their car. Protect yourself, your car, and your valuables by getting auto and home policies that can cover you in case of auto theft. Use Insurance's tools to find the best rates and policies for your car and home.