Does Renters Insurance Cover Theft?

Renters insurance typically covers theft inside and outside your rented residence, with the exception of car theft (although items inside the car are usually covered).

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Kristine Lee

Insurance Analyst

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty
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Kristine is a licensed insurance agent who joined The Zebra in 2019 as an in-house content researcher and writer. Before joining The Zebra, she was a…

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Ross Martin

Insurance Writer

  • 4+ years in the Insurance Industry

Ross joined The Zebra as a writer and researcher in 2019. He specializes in writing insurance content to help shoppers make informed decisions.

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Is theft covered by renters insurance?

Yes, renters insurance usually covers stolen property (but not your car!) regardless of whether the theft occurred inside or outside your residence, up to your policy's predetermined coverage limit. This is because theft is a covered peril under your policy's personal property insurance. Read on to find out more about how renters insurance protects your property in the event of theft — the reach of your renters coverage could surprise you.

Key Takeaways: 

  • Renters insurance covers theft inside and outside your home up to a certain limit with payouts based on actual cash value, not replacement cost.
  • Renters should set personal property limits high enough to cover their most valuable items and consider adding endorsements if policy sub-limits are too low or they wish to be reimbursed based on replacement cost.
  • Renters insurance excludes car theft (covered by car insurance), but covers items in your car.
  • Compare the value of your stolen items to your deductible before filing a renters insurance claim, as theft claims can significantly impact your policy.

How much will renters insurance cover after a theft?

The amount renters insurance will cover after theft is based on your policy's personal property limit. Personal property coverage usually equates to 10% of your liability coverage, a share that can be adjusted to suit your needs, depending on the value of your personal belongings. For instance, if your liability limit is $100,000, your personal property limit might be $10,000 by default. A few things to keep in mind:

  1. Each category of property might have different "sub-limits". For example, while $10,000 of your property might be covered, jewelry might only be limited to $1,500.
  2. Renters insurance will reimburse you for your stolen items on an actual cash value basis — which deducts depreciation.
Sub-limits on personal property
Sub-limit Property Limitations
$200 Money, gold, coins  
$1,500 Jewelry, watches, furs Theft only
$1,500 Watercraft, trailers Theft only
$2,500 Firearms  
$2,500 Silverware  
$2,500 Business property On-premises
$500 Business property Off-premises
Varies Electronics  


How to ensure you have enough renters coverage in case of theft

Set your renters personal property limit high enough to cover your most expensive or valuable items should they be stolen from your home. If you have numerous valuables, consider adding an endorsement or rider to be paid out on a replacement cost basis instead. You don't want to be shocked to find your payout is less than expected and not sufficient to cover your losses.

rented house

Does renters insurance cover theft outside my home?

Yes. Also known as off-premises coverage, renters insurance will cover your stolen items even if they were not inside your home at the time of theft. For example, if your bike is stolen from your front yard, it would be eligible for replacement by your renters insurance. Additionally, renters insurance coverage follows you even while you’re not at home. If your phone is stolen while you’re running errands, you could file a claim for its replacement with your insurer.

Zebra Tip: Consider your deductible before filing a theft claim

Your deductible is the initial amount you pay when filing a renters insurance claim. If a stolen item's value is below your deductible, it's often better to cover the cost yourself to avoid potential premium increases. For instance, with a $500 deductible and a $2,000 stolen bike, it's worth filing a claim, especially with a replacement value endorsement guaranteeing you the full $1,500. However, it's likely not worthwhile if the bike's value is less than your deductible.

Does renters insurance cover auto theft?

No, renters insurance does not cover auto theft, including theft of your car's parts such as its catalytic converter. If your car is stolen or vandalized, that’s a matter for your auto insurance to help you settle. However, if belongings are stolen out of your car, renters insurance can help you replace those items.

speeding car
But what if my car is burglarized?

If your car window was smashed and your laptop was stolen, you would need to get both your car insurance and renters insurance involved by filing separate claims for the property damage and theft. Your car insurance will cover the broken window as an act of vandalism, while your renters insurance will reimburse you for your stolen property up to the coverage limit.

Does renters insurance increase after a theft claim?

According to The Zebra's data, a renters insurance theft claim makes the most impact on your premium — it can increase your rate by about 25%.

Renters insurance premium difference after theft claims
Number of Claims Average Annual Premium $ Difference
No Claims $246 -
1 Theft Claim $308 +$62
2 Theft Claims $381 +$73

While the average cost of renters insurance is relatively affordable at $20 per month, it never hurts to shop around for a better rate, particularly in the aftermath of a settled claim.

We compared renters insurance premiums from top companies to find the most affordable rate with a theft claim on your record. See the results below.

Renters insurance premiums by company after theft claim
Insurance Company Rate After Theft Claim
Allstate $380
American Family $360
Farmers $321
Nationwide $324
Progressive $346
State Farm $200
Travelers $342
USAA $258

With an average rate of just $17 a month, State Farm could be the cheapest option after a theft claim and a good place to look first. We also partnered with Lemonade, which prides itself on affordable coverage and speedy claims resolution. If you're looking to switch providers, getting a quote with Lemonade is quick and easy.

Need a Renters Insurance Quote?

Does renters insurance cover theft FAQs

No, broken windows are not covered by renters insurance. Any damage to the actual structure of the building is typically the landlord's responsibility and should be covered by their insurance policy. However, if the window was broken as the result of a burglary, your stolen possessions would be covered as well as additional living costs if you were forced to live elsewhere while the property was being repaired.

While renters insurance won't cover your car being stolen, it will cover your personal possessions within the vehicle. For example, if your car is stolen and your backpack is in the car, the bag and everything in it is likely covered by your renters insurance policy. Similarly, while renters insurance won't cover damage caused by a break-in to your vehicle, it will cover items stolen from your car.

Yes! Your renters insurance policy will typically cover items stolen while you are traveling.

Yes, renters insurance covers stolen packages. However, if your deductible is higher than the value of your package, it is likely not worth filing a claim. If you frequently have packages delivered while you aren't home, it may be a good idea to install a security camera at your door to deter thieves and potentially lower your renters insurance rates.

While renters insurance covers stolen cash, you typically have to provide documentation and it usually only covers up to a few hundred dollars, even if your personal property limit is tens of thousands of dollars. This is because it's simply too easy to make a false claim concerning stolen cash. Check your sub-limits on your renters policy to confirm the exact cash amount you can expect covered.

Renters insurance will cover stolen jewelry up to your personal property's coverage limit, the maximum you will be reimbursed for a covered claim regardless of your possessions' value. Be sure to check your sub-limits as even if you have a $30,000 personal property limit, the sub-limit for jewelry may be substantially smaller. If you have expensive jewelry, it may be wise to expand your coverage with a rider or endorsement to ensure you are adequately covered in case of theft.

While renters insurance does not cover accidental damage to most electronics, it usually covers stolen electronics up to the sub-limit (limits for specific subcategories of property) listed on your policy. Sub-limits are often substantially smaller than your overall personal property limit.

About The Zebra

The Zebra is not an insurance company. We publish data-backed, expert-reviewed resources to help consumers make more informed insurance decisions.

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