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?

Is theft covered by renters insurance?

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, coming 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.

Renters insurance and theft

1. What will renters insurance cover after a theft?
2. 
Does renters insurance cover theft from inside and outside my home?
3. 
Does renters insurance cover car theft?

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 below are some common exceptions found in renters policies.

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 

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 give you additional coverage for these items.

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.

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