Does Renters Insurance Cover Theft?

It's good to have renters insurance on your side if your stuff is stolen. How does a renters policy protect you and your possessions?

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Kristine Lee

Manager, Content and Data

  • Licensed Insurance Agent — Property and Casualty

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…

Is theft covered by renters insurance?

Yes, renters insurance will step in to help if you're stolen from. One of the main advantages of having renters insurance is theft coverage in case you’re the victim of a burglary. Theft coverage is included as part of your personal property coverage as a covered peril, which comes with predetermined coverage limits.

If you live in an area vulnerable to break-ins and theft, renters insurance will protect your property and offer some peace of mind. In addition, renters insurance covers your liability, additional living expenses and medical payments. Learn more about what renters insurance covers.

Read on to find out more about how renters insurance protects your property in the event of theft — from either inside or outside your residence. The reach of your renters coverage could surprise you.

How much will renters insurance cover after a theft?

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. Learn more about how to determine how much renters insurance you need.

You’ll need to set your renters personal property limit high enough to cover your most expensive or valuable items should they be stolen from your home. Renters insurance will reimburse you for your stolen items on an actual cash value basis — which deducts for depreciation.

So if you have numerous valuables, consider adding an endorsement to be paid out on a replacement cost basis instead. You may be in for an unpleasant surprise if your payout is less than what you may have expected and not sufficient to cover your losses.

There are some exceptions when it comes to theft coverage of personal property. Your policy should dictate any special limits set on certain items, but there are some common exceptions found in renters policies.

If you own items worth more than the sub-limits set by your insurer — like an expensive jewelry collection — consider supplementing your renters insurance policy with an endorsement or rider to secure additional coverage for these items.

Special 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  


Does renters insurance cover theft from inside and 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. If your bike is stolen from your front yard, it would be eligible for replacement by your renters insurance. Certain restrictions, seen above or in your policy, apply.

You’d also have to meet your deductible, so you would need to weigh whether or not filing a renters insurance claim is worthwhile. If your renters policy deductible is $500, and your stolen bike is worth $2,000, it would be worth filing a claim. If you had added a replacement value endorsement, your payout would amount to $1,500. It would not have been worth it if your bike were valued at less than your $500 deductible.

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 by renter insurance.

Does renters insurance cover auto theft?

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.

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.

car theft

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%.

Number of Claims Average Annual Premium $ Difference
No Claims $246 -
1 Theft Claim $308 +$62
2 Theft Claims $381 +$73

While renters insurance is generally affordable — about $20 a month — compared to other kinds of insurance, 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.

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.

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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.

  • The Zebra’s insurance content is written and reviewed for accuracy by licensed insurance agents.
  • The Zebra’s insurance content is not subject to review or alteration by insurance companies or partners.
  • The Zebra’s editorial team operates independently of the company’s partnerships and commercialization interests, publishing unbiased information for consumer benefit.
  • The auto insurance rates published on The Zebra’s pages are based on a comprehensive analysis of car insurance pricing data, evaluating more than 83 million insurance rates from across the United States.