Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Theft?

Learn whether homeowners insurance covers theft and burglary.

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Does home insurance cover theft?

Yes — theft is a covered peril on a standard homeowner's insurance policy. However, coverage may be limited depending on where your personal property was stolen from and what was stolen.

Let’s explore the ins and outs of homeowners insurance and theft.

  1. When is theft covered by homeowners insurance?
  2. When is theft not covered by homeowners insurance?
  3. How to file a theft claim
  4. Frequently asked questions


If and when homeowners insurance covers theft

A standard homeowners policy covers theft. If your home is burglarized and the contents of your living room are taken, your insurance company would reimburse you up to your personal property coverage limit — minus your deductible. 

There are two main limitations to theft coverage on a homeowners policy: personal property outside the premises (your home) and valuable items. Let’s evaluate these circumstances in further detail.

Theft outside of the home

Coverage for theft outside of the home varies by insurance company. Most policies offer limited coverage. A common amount of coverage is 10% of your total personal property coverage, or $1,000 — whichever is greater. For example, if you have $50,000 of personal property coverage on your homeowners policy, your coverage off-premises limit would be $5,000.

Below are examples of circumstances in which off-premise coverage would apply:

  • Personal belongings were stolen from your vehicle
  • Purse or backpack was stolen while traveling

High-value items

Homeowners insurance policies limit the amount of coverage provided for extraordinarily valuable goods, whether the loss occurs via theft or another covered peril. Below are the dollar-amount and location limits.


$200Money, gold, coins 
$1,500Jewelry, watches, fursTheft-only
$1,500Watercraft, trailersTheft-only
$2,500Business propertyOn-premises
$500Business propertyOff-premises

You can extend your level of coverage via an endorsement, i.e., a change to your policy. If you add a jewelry endorsement of $5,000, you would have up to $5,000 of coverage for your collection. If you own an engagement ring worth $15,000, consider adding a scheduled endorsement. This requires the ring to be appraised but will more comprehensively cover your item. 

Adding an endorsement provides additional flexibility in terms of how much insurance you enjoy — and the location over which your coverage extends. For items that travel with you, such as engagement rings, expanded coverage is a good idea.

Every insurance provider has unique coverage options relating to theft and personal items or property. While we mentioned endorsements and scheduled endorsements, you can also consider additional replacement cost coverage, outlined below.

Learn more here.

Replacement cost coverage

On a standard home insurance policy, your dwelling coverage is insured for the replacement cost value but your personal property is insured for its actual cash value. Actual cash value factors depreciation into a claims payout. For example, an ACV payout on a TV will give the funds for what your stolen TV was worth when you bought it — not how much it takes to get a new TV now. 

Learn more here.

When is theft not covered by homeowners insurance?

In several instances, theft might not be covered by homeowners insurance. Theft absolutely will not be covered if your home is vacant. Most insurance companies refrain from covering vacant homes because of heightened risk of theft from the property.

If you’re renting your home out and your tenant's property was stolen, your coverage would not apply. In this example, their renters insurance would provide coverage.

The last instance varies by claim and company.  If you fail to take any and all necessary steps to protect your belongings — locking your door or securing valuables — your risk having your claim denied.

How to file a theft claim on homeowners insurance

After you have verified your home is safe to enter, follow these steps.

  1. Call 911 and file a police report (be sure to request a copy).
  2. Take photos of the break-in or point of entrance and any property damage.
  3. File a claim with your insurance company.
  4. Take active steps to protect your home for future break-ins — repair locks, broken windows, etc. Do not dispose of any broken items, however. They could be useful for the claims investigation.
  5. Follow the advice of your insurance company. They will assign a claims adjustor and investigate your claim based on details you give and the damage in your home.

Find more information regarding homeowners insurance claims here.


Frequently asked questions on theft and home insurance:

Below are some frequently asked questions related to theft and homeowners insurance.

Q: Does homeowners insurance cover theft outside the home?

You will have 10% of your total personal property coverage or $1,000 — whichever is greater for theft outside of the home.

Q: Does homeowners insurance cover car theft?

The only way to have coverage for your personal property in your vehicle is your home insurance. Your auto policy or comprehensive coverage offers no coverage for anything stolen in your vehicle that is not attached to your car.

Q: Does homeowners insurance cover theft of cash?

Homeowners insurance will limit your compensation for stolen cash to $200.

Q: Does homeowners insurance cover theft from a garage?

Yes. Your garage — whether attached or detached — is covered under your personal property section of your homeowners policy.

Q: If I fail to lock my door and I’m robbed, will my insurance still cover me?

Potentially. Insurance companies require you to take any reasonable steps to protect your insured assets. By failing to lock your door, you could jeopardize claim.

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Ava Lynch LinkedIn

Ava worked in the insurance industry as an agent for four-plus years. Currently providing insights and analysis as one of The Zebra’s resident property insurance experts, Ava has been featured in publications such as U.S. News & World Report, GasBuddy, and Yahoo! Finance.