The Case Of The Stolen Car Seats

by Stephanie Berenbaum – March 21, 2012

Cops, Robbers & Homeowners Insurance

Yesterday was an ordinary day, until I found myself at the center of an international crime thriller!  Okay, well, not exactly … but I DID have two car seats stolen from my very own driveway.  Here’s what happened: our babysitter set our car seats down next to my car – in my driveway – and then came back inside for maybe 60 seconds because I had forgotten to give something to her.  She went back out and – that’s right – the seats were GONE.

Get to Know Your Local Police Precinct

Or at least have their phone number handy!  Not only did I not even know what police precinct I was in, I didn’t even have their number.  By the time I managed to look them up and call, many minutes had gone by.  I know the odds of catching the car seat thief was slim, but I realized that my precinct should definitely be on my go-to list of important phone numbers!

Insurance to the Rescue?

This theft – the first since we moved into our house 8 years ago – actually was a wake up call for me.  Because, to be honest, I realized how little I knew about our very own insurance policy.  I always just took my homeowners policy for granted, and was a little embarrassed that I actually had no idea if something stolen from my driveway was even covered…

I called our insurance agency (Travelers) and told my agent (Michelle) what happened.  Here’s the 411 on what I learned about the ins and outs of insurance and theft!

Does The Driveway Count?

Talking to agent Michelle, my first question was if my insurance policy covered things only inside the house, or outside too.  I honestly didn’t know, but she assured me that property in my driveway was covered under my plan.  She broke it down further to explain that I had two kinds of coverage: a certain amount for personal property (like my car seats) and another amount for dwelling coverage (like if someone breaks down your front door).

Coverage On The Go

My new BFF Michelle also explained to me something I had no idea about: if I am traveling and my luggage (or car seats!) gets stolen, it is also covered under my “personal property” homeowners insurance – even if the theft happens away from home.  *Note: Most renter’s insurance policies are the same.

Make a Video Diary

One thing Michelle highly recommended to speed up any insurance claim: make a video diary of your high ticket items!  Of course it helps to also keep all of your receipts.  But if you haven’t done that, just take 5 minutes and shoot video of your pricey jewelry, TV, computers, clothing and, oh, I don’t know, maybe CAR SEATS?!  That way when the insurance adjuster comes out you can prove to him that, yes, the $250 pair of jeans really was yours (no judging, we swear…).

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