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.

Theft and home insurance — table of contents:
  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. How do theft claims affect rates?
  5. 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
  • A 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.

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


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.


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 about the difference between replacement cost and ACV.


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 the 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, the tenant's 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 — like locking your door or securing valuables — you 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 from 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 the details you give and the damage in your home.

Find more information regarding homeowners insurance claims.

 

Do rates increase after a theft claim?

A theft claim on your record can be quite impactful; on average, rates were hiked by 20% after a theft claim. Theft causes the second-highest increase in premiums nationally — the first being fire claims. See the below table to see data on up to two thefts.

Number of ClaimsAverage Annual Premium% Difference
No Claims$1,478-
1 Theft Claim$1,778+20%
2 Theft Claims$2,085+17%


If you're looking for cheap homeowners insurance after a theft claim, take a look at some of the post-theft claim rates from top insurance companies below to get started in your search. Remember that our rate-gathering methodology likely does not match your own homeowners profile exactly. Learn more about home insurance after a claim.

HOME INSURANCE PREMIUMS BY COMPANY AFTER THEFT CLAIM
Insurance CompanyRate After Theft Claim
Allstate$2,105
American Family$2,629
Farmers$1,743
Liberty Mutual$1,711
Nationwide$1,663
State Farm$1,464
Travelers$1,796
USAA$1,528


With a monthly premium of $122, State Farm proved to be the cheapest company after a theft incident. Nationwide and USAA are also worth looking into if you're concerned with the affordability of your rate after a theft claim.

One of the best ways to secure a good deal on homeowners insurance is to shop around and compare rates. Use The Zebra's comparison tool below to compare quotes side-by-side and see how much you can save!

Find an affordable home insurance policy in just a few minutes.

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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 your claim.


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Kristine Lee
Kristine Lee LinkedIn

Kristine is a licensed insurance agent and one of The Zebra’s in-house content strategists. With a background in copywriting, she covers the ins and outs of the home and car insurance industries. She has contributed to numerous publications focused on the nuances of insurance, including Automoblog, USInsuranceAgents.com, and BestCompany.com.