Does Your Auto Insurance Cover Your Car’s Sound System?

Some cars come with state-of-the-art sound systems. Some people also invest in expensive or customized sound systems for their cars. These sound systems can suffer damage or theft, just like other car parts. Various factors determine whether your car insurance covers such losses. Below are some of these factors.

Type of Coverage

Car insurance comes in three main forms. The three are:

  1. Liability coverage – compensates for third-party losses, such as bodily injury or property damage.
  2. Collision coverage – compensates you after collisions with other cars and objects.
  3. Comprehensive coverage – covers non-collision losses, such as theft.

Of the three, only comprehensive and collision coverage may cover your car's sound system. Collision coverage can compensate you for the sound system's damage after a collision. Comprehensive coverage could compensate you if someone steals your car or sound system.

Type of Equipment

Comprehensive and collision coverage normally covers audio systems that come from the factory with the car. The coverage sometimes excludes audio systems that are part of upgrades or customizations.

If your insurance doesn't currently cover your system, look into additional car insurance in the form of an add-on or rider if you want coverage for an aftermarket sound system. The additional coverage is necessary since an aftermarket sound system increases your car's value and risk of theft. The additional premium protects you and your car insurance company from the increased risk.

You must notify your insurance company every time you modify your car significantly. The installation of an expensive aftermarket sound system is considered significant. Otherwise, the insurance company might exclude damage or loss to the sound system irrespective of its cause.

Secondly, car insurance typically covers equipment you permanently affix to the car. For example, the insurance may cover an audio system that you install and leave in the car at all times. Such a sound system is part of the car just like other parts, such as the windshield. Don't expect coverage for a portable audio system that you can easily carry in and out of the car.

Car Insurance Company

Auto insurance companies have different rules concerning coverage. For example, some carriers automatically cover factory sound systems while others might not. Ask your carrier or agent about the coverage; don't assume that your basic policy automatically covers the sound system.

The best time to know whether your car insurance covers the car's sound system is before disaster strikes. That way, you can buy additional coverage if necessary. Contact an auto insurance agent to walk you through the available options and help you cover your car fully.