Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Theft?

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Updated: 05 May 2024
Written by
Cara Carlone
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If a homeowner is a victim of theft, it can be a costly experience. Does homeowners insurance provide coverage for theft? Yes, it does. In fact, your home insurance policy will normally cover theft that occurs either at home or away from home.

For more useful information about home insurance for theft, keep reading. With twenty plus years spent helping consumers acquire a better understanding of their insurance, I can help you understand how theft coverage works.

Key Takeaways

  • Home insurance usually covers theft inside as well as away from your home.

  • Fine jewelry along with fine art and other pricey collectibles might have coverage limits.

  • File a claim with your insurance carrier promptly if you’re a victim of theft.

Does Your Home Insurance Provide Coverage For Theft?

Theft is normally covered by homeowners insurance, and it will not only be covered at your home or your property, but away from your home, too.

For example, if you are in the mall shopping and someone snatches your purse and runs away, this is considered a covered incident with your home insurance.

Also–and this is a great perk–your family members are also covered for theft, provided they live with you.

What Events Are Covered By Home Insurance For Theft?

There are many possible scenarios where theft might be covered by your homeowners policy. Here are a few:

  • If somebody breaks into your home and robs you, it’s covered.
  • If you’re away from home, maybe at work, traveling or wherever, it’s covered.
  • Family members who live with you are covered, too.
  • Theft includes such items as items electronics, furniture, clothing, and more and falls under the personal property coverage part of your home insurance policy.

Note: Some homeowner insurance policies have a separate deductible for hurricanes or wind storms. The deductible might be a percentage of your dwelling amount, so check your deductible before you file a claim. You don’t want to file a claim if your deductible is going to be more than the amount of the damage.

When Is Theft Not Covered By Homeowners Insurance?

There aren’t that many situations where theft wouldn’t be covered by your home insurance. Here are a few possible scenarios:

  • Your vehicle is stolen, which is typically taken care of by your auto insurance.
  • You don’t have a separate watercraft insurance policy, and your boat or other watercraft is stolen while it’s not on your property.
  • Your home has been unoccupied for 60 days or longer, and your home insurance policy has a vacancy clause that says it will not cover theft on vacant properties.

While sub limits are strictly speaking not coverage exclusions, I think we should discuss them at least briefly. What is a sublimit? Most home insurance providers have sub limits for coverage of personal property such as jewelry, art and other high dollar items that are likely to be stolen if you’re the victim of theft. The standard policy typically pays about 50-70% of the amount of coverage on your house.

There may also be sub limits assigned to things like firearms, collectible stamps, silver, gold, furs and other high value items.

What Should You Do If Your Home Has A Theft?

The first thing to do is notify the local law enforcement. You need to do this anyway for the best chance of recovering your stolen items, but also because your insurance company is probably not going to pay a claim unless you have filed a police report.

Then, while you’re waiting for the police to arrive, take stock and make an assessment of everything that is missing, as well as its value.

Document everything as best you can. Take photos showing how the thief gained access to your home in the case of forced entry. Show any damages the thief caused by rifling through your possessions and searching your home for valuables to steal.

For example, if the thief damages your back door gaining access to your home, it’s a covered expense. Get estimates of the cost to repair or replace it. Any damage of this sort will be covered by your home insurance, not just the theft itself.

Notify your home insurance company about the theft, including all details of what was stolen along with its value.

Is There Anything You Can Do To Avoid Theft?

Yes, there are some precautionary measures you can take to lessen being the victim of theft.

Here are some things you can do to be proactive about protecting yourself from theft:

  • Installation of deadbolt locks on doors can deter a thief
  • Reinforce all window locks
  • Motion sensor lights and/or a burglar alarm are excellent security devices
  • If your local law enforcement agency is willing to do a security audit of your home and property, follow their suggestions about how to deter theft
  • Hedges or bushes that are in front of windows need to kept clipped so that nobody can hide behind or under them while they’re trying to force their way in
  • Rose bushes or other shrubs with thorns planted under windows may deter thieves
  • Money, important documents, or expensive collections should be kept out of sight and locked in a safe if possible
  • You shouldn’t leave ladders visible outside of your home, handy for a robber to use for access
  • Don’t discuss your vacation plans in a public place or post your itinerary on social media.
  • While you’re away, ask the police and your neighbors to keep a watchful eye on your property.
  • Be sure to securely lock your garage or shed doors and windows.
  • Ensure that pet doors are locked when not in use or you’re away.

When Should You File An Insurance Claim For Theft?

Deciding whether or not to file a claim for theft can be a tough decision for a lot of homeowners.

It’s not a cut-and-dried sort of problem, there are several points to take into consideration. For example, if the value of the stolen items is less than your deductible, you wouldn’t gain anything by filing a claim. In fact, you’d lose.

Then, too, even if the value is more than the deductible, unless it’s considerably more you still wouldn’t come out ahead when you factor in the cost of increased premiums that are almost inevitable after you file a claim.

Many homeowners select a high deductible in order to have a lower premium. This is risky. If you have a very large loss, you might wish you had gone with a lesser deductible. By the way, your insurer is not going to pay any benefits until you pay your deductible.

You’ll have to weigh the pros and cons of filing a claim and then go from there.

How Do You File An Insurance Claim For Theft?

Filing a claim for theft is about the same as filing any other sort of claim.

Note: Some insurers have separate deductibles for wind or hurricane losses. These deductibles may be a percentage of your home’s dwelling limit and not a flat amount. Always look at the correct deductible before deciding whether the damage is more than that amount.

Here are some steps to take when you’re filing a claim for theft:

  1. Make a list of the stolen items, along with the value of each one
  2. Document and take photos of any damage done to your home or property in commission of the burglary
  3. Contact your insurance company and notify them of the theft and any damage caused by it

Your insurance company will probably send a claim representative to work with you. You will need to have your receipts or appraisals of the stolen items if you have them, along with any photos of the stolen items.

Are There Other Types Of Coverage Available For Theft?

Yes, and theft is actually one of the main reasons homeowners purchase extra coverage. You can purchase extra coverage, a separate policy, or an endorsement to provide you with added protection from theft.

Here are some of your options if you need extra insurance coverage for theft of your personal property:

Theft And Burglary Coverage

Some insurers will offer a separate endorsement that is specifically for theft and burglary. It might cover damage caused during a break-in, stolen items, and temporary relocation expenses if your home is uninhabitable because of theft.

Special Limits Endorsement

Some items–such as cash, electronics, jewelry and others–might have limited coverage under your standard home insurance policy. An endorsement can provide extra coverage for such items.

Scheduled Personal Property Endorsement

This endorsement lets you insure and itemize specific valuable items like art, collectibles, or jewelry against theft.

It offers higher coverage limits for these high value items compared to your standard personal property coverage. If you need more coverage for your valuable belongings, you can increase the limits on your personal property coverage.



Can you buy separate insurance coverage for theft?

Yes, you can get separate coverage for theft. You may also be able to purchase an endorsement to your home insurance policy that will cover theft. You’ll need to weigh the cost of any added coverage to your existing policy and then decide if the additional cost is worth the expense.

Does a Standard Home Insurance Policy Cover theft?

Yes, it does. There are a lot of circumstances in which theft is covered under your homeowners insurance.

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