Burglary Insurance

Last Updated: September 1, 2020

Definition - What does Burglary Insurance mean?

A burglary insurance policy is a type of crime insurance that covers losses resulting from burglary. Put simply, burglary refers to when someone uses force to unlawfully enter someone else's property - even if they did not steal anything in the end.

Types of losses insured include:

  • Theft of property from a closed premises such as a home, place of business or automobile.

  • Damage caused by the intruder in the process.

Even though the words burglary, robbery, and theft are often used interchangeably in real life, they are actually very different legally speaking and in the insurance world. The definitions are nuanced but in the insurance world, burglary is defined as theft when force was used to unlawfully enter someone else’s property.

In order for an insurer to recognize your claim, you have to file a police report and show some signs of forced entry such as a broken window or scratch marks on the door. If you do not have these things, the insurer will not count it as a burglary and therefore you would not have coverage.

The broadest peril for this type of loss is “theft.” In insurance terms, theft is defined as any means of taking without the owner's consent, regardless of the method.

So if you see theft as an insured peril on your policy, you can rest easy that your property is well protected against all types of crime losses whether that be burglary, robbery, or otherwise.

Insuranceopedia explains Burglary Insurance

The terms “burglary” and “robbery” are often used interchangeably but they are very different things when it comes to insurance. While they both involve some sort of theft, unlawful entry, and the use of force, the key differentiator is who or what that force is used on.

Robbery is defined as using force, the threat of force or intimidation to steal from someone, meaning there was a victim involved for the act. An easy example of this is with bank robberies where the tellers and customers are held up.

Burglary on the other hand involves felonious or forceful entry but no force was used on a person. One example is a cat burglar sneaking in and out without anyone noticing or getting involved.

In order to substantiate burglary claims, insurers will want to see proof of ownership of the stolen item(s), a police report and proof that force was used to enter the premises. Examples of this include broken windows, scratch marks on the doors, etc. If there were no signs of forced entry, then you would not be covered under burglary. It would fall under other categories of coverage such as theft or robbery.

Burglary insurance is typically included as a part of most insurance policies including:

  • Travel insurance.
  • Home insurance.
  • Commercial property insurance.

Although all of those policies have burglary coverage, they are usually quite limited in scope. They usually do not insure a broad range of property (ie. stock and equipment only but no burglary coverage for money or jewelry) or have strict limits of insurance that restrict how much compensation you get if property is lost by burglary.

To expand your burglary coverage, there are different crime insurance riders (endorsements) you can add on to your policy to cover a wider range of property and increase the limits of insurance for burglary losses. One example is through a safe burglary policy which protects your safe and any property inside it from burglary losses.

If you are particularly worried about crime losses like burglary,you can opt to purchase a more comprehensive type of crime insurance called the 3D policy. The full name of this type of policy is the Comprehensive Disappearance, Dishonesty, and Destruction policy - hence the 3 Ds.

The 3D policy is the most comprehensive crime insurance coverage typically available on the market and insures against all types of crime losses including burglary, robbery, or theft.

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