Auto Electronic Equipment - Does Insurance Respond?

Do I need special coverage for my GPS, DVD player and other electronic equipment in my vehicle? This is a great question, and one that our customers ask frequently.

Americans have developed a love affair with their electronic toys.  TVs, DVD players, GPS devices, satellite radio receivers, VCRs, CD players, computers, tape decks, and stereos (and more) have all multiplied and spread from the home to the automobile, where there is a much greater chance for these items to be stolen or damaged in an accident.  For that reason, some insurance companies have developed special ways to either cover or not cover electronic devices on the standard auto insurance policy, or charge an extra premium for covering them.

Your personal auto policy covers equipment designed for use with an automobile and attached to it or normally carried in it, but some exclusions and limitations apply, including:

  • No coverage for stereos, radios or other sound reproducing equipment(such as tape decks, CD players, DVD players, video cassette recorders and players, and audio cassette recorders and players), unless these items are permanently installed in your vehicle.  An item is permanently installed when it is at least bolted or attached to the vehicle in some way to prevent easy removal. When these items are covered because they are permanently installed, the most the insurance company will pay for loss of or damage to the items is $1,500 less your deductible.  A higher amount of coverage may be available for an additional premium.
  • No coverage for CB radios, 2-way radios, telephones, or scanning monitor receivers, or any accessories related to these devices (such as antennas), unless these items are permanently installed in the opening of the dash or console normally used by the auto manufacturer for the installation of a radio.  Coverage on these items may be available for an additional premium.
  • No coverage for radar detectors or other speed measuring equipment.
  • No coverage for televisions in a pickup or van.  Coverage is available for an additional premium.
  • No coverage for tapes, CDs, DVDsor other devices used with equipment designed for the reproduction of sound.  Coverage may be available for an additional premium.


If you use or carry electronic equipment in your vehicle, call your agent and ask him or her to help you complete an Electronic Equipment Checklist.  The checklist will help your agent determine if additional coverage is needed and available.