May 7, 2022


Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Theft?

Homeowners insurance covers theft because theft falls under personal property protection. However, there are exceptions and limitations to every home insurance policy. If you become a victim of theft, you need to know what you’re covered for.

According to the FBI:

  • Approximately 3,300 burglaries occur every day -  one every 25.7 seconds
  • On average, $2,600 of valuables are taken during a burglary.
  • Homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be robbed.

Typically, your average policy is about 50% to 70% of dwelling coverage. Other insurance companies allow you to choose from many coverage options, such as $100,000, $300,000 and $500,000. However, home insurance comes with limitations or sub-limits for specific items. 

In this post, I will discuss:

  • When home insurance covers theft (and when it doesn’t)
  • How much personal property coverage you get
  • Additional theft protection you should consider
  • How to make an insurance claim for theft
  • Homeowners insurance discounts available for added protection.

Let’s get started with this post. 

When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Theft?

When Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Theft?

Homeowners insurance protects more than just your home and everything in it. When it comes to your personal belongings, you’re covered whether they’re stolen inside or outside your property. Whether they’re stolen from your bedroom or your hotel room, home insurance can replace your stolen items.

Here are a few other situations when your homeowners insurance policy comes in handy:

  • Home insurance can cover car theft: If your personal belongings are stolen from inside your car, your policy usually covers their replacement costs.
  • Home insurance can cover your guest’s personal property: If your friend is staying with you and her jewelry is stolen during a burglary, your homeowners insurance covers them.
  • Home insurance can cover your dependent’s dorm room property: If your child is still covered under your insurance and lives on campus, their property may be protected if theft occurs. However, this only applies to campus living. If they’re living off-campus, they’re no longer covered.
  • Home insurance covers break-in damage: If a burglar breaks your door or window or commits other damage to your home’s structure, your dwelling coverage usually covers it. Dwelling coverage also covers damage done to other structures on your property, like a detached garage or shed.

When Doesn’t Homeowners Insurance Cover Theft?

While your standard homeowners insurance policy usually covers theft, there are certain situations when your claim may be denied. Here are a few to consider:

  • Someone on your policy committed the theft: If someone in your dwelling or dependent on campus commits burglary, you’re not covered for the replacement costs of your personal belongings. Also, if you file a claim for this and your insurance agent discovers that you stole your own property, you could be found guilty of fraud. 
  • Theft goes unreported: Your insurance company may deny your claim if you fail to file it within 60 days after the robbery took place. This means that you should report the theft ASAP. 
  • The theft occurred during an extended vacancy: If you’ve been on extended deployment or live somewhere else and your home is vacant for longer than 60 days, your insurance company may deny your claim. It would help if you considered purchasing vacant or unoccupied homeowners insurance during this period. Certain types of VA insurance companies cover you when deployed.
  • The theft occurred on a rented unit on your property: If you’re renting part of your property and your tenant isn’t included on your home insurance policy, your claim may get denied. 
  • Theft of campers, watercrafts, or trailers away from your property: If one of these vehicles or any of their furnishings is stolen, your homeowners insurance won’t cover it. 

How Much Personal Liability Coverage Do You Get?

How Much Personal Liability Coverage Do You Get?

Your standard home insurance policy usually covers 50% to 70% of your dwelling coverage. Some insurance companies offer you various amounts of coverage based on how much liability coverage you need (usually $100,000, $300,000, and $500,000, respectively).

Special Limits Of Liability For Valuables Stolen

Personal liability comes with limitations. You might have $500,000 worth of coverage, but it may not all be covered if a burglar stole $500,000 of your personal property. Let’s say you have $100,000 in personal property coverage, but the coverage for your jewelry has a limit of $1,500. If a burglar steals $2,500 worth of jewelry, you’re only covered for the first $1,500. 

Here are some of the common most personal valuables and their liability limits you’ll see in many homeowners insurance policies:

Property Type

Liability Limit

Jewelry, furs




Trailers and watercraft






Business property


Property off-premises

10% of your coverage

Additional Theft Protection You Should Consider

Homeowners insurance policies are great, but they don’t always provide you with total protection. Here are a few ways you get additional coverage.

Scheduled Personal Property Coverage

You can purchase extra protection for your valuables. Once you reach your liability limits on those particular valuables, the additional coverage can kick in and reimburse you for the rest. If you’re someone with $2,500 worth of jewelry, make sure it’s all covered.

Identity Theft Coverage

Sometimes, a thief steals more than your property. If your identity is stolen, this endorsement reimburses you for any expenses you might incur while recovering your identity.

Raise Your Sub-limits

You may be able to increase the sub-limits on specific categories or items. Usually, this involves paying a higher premium, but it may be worth it if you have valuable collector’s items or jewelry. Talk to your insurance agent about your coverage options.

How To Make An Insurance Claim For Theft

How To Make An Insurance Claim For Theft

To ensure your claim is accepted, you should do the following:

  • Contact the authorities
  • Document everything
  • Answer any questions or requests

Contact The Authorities

If you experience a theft or break-in, contact your local police department ASAP. As I mentioned earlier, you need to claim a file with your insurance company within 60 days of the theft. Your insurance company usually requires a copy of the police report before processing your claim.

Document Everything

Take photos and videos of where your valuables were stolen and any damage caused to your property. You should also write a list of everything taken. If you have the receipts for them, that would also be a huge help. 

For extra credit, take inventory of all your personal valuables and how much they’re worth. Doing so will show you how much coverage you should buy, and provide you with an itemized list of what you own and its worth.

Answer Any Questions Or Requests

Your insurance provider may send a claims adjuster to inspect your home, depending on the situation. Sometimes, they won’t investigate the claim at all. If they decide to investigate your claim, try to provide them with any additional information they need. This may include bank or credit card statements or other information pertaining to your stolen property.

Get Homeowners Insurance Discounts By Safeguarding Your Home

Get Homeowners Insurance Discounts By Safeguarding Your Home

As I mentioned earlier, homes without a security system are 300% more likely to be robbed. Homeowners insurance companies frequently offer discounts for theft-proofing your home since it provides added protection. Some companies offer 2% to 15% off the cost of premiums, and then some even offer additional discounts the longer you go without filing a claim. 

Here are a few ways to theft-proof your home:

  • Use high-quality deadbolt locks ranked “Grade 1” by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
  • Install a burglar alarm that’s connected to your local police department
  • Install video surveillance cameras on your property
  • Install motion-detection lights outside your home

While these items cost money to purchase and install, the discounts you get on premiums and the additional peace of mind are well worth it.

Final Thoughts

To recap, here’s what homeowners insurance typically does and does not cover:

Does Cover

Does Not Cover

Stolen personal property in your home

Theft committed by someone on your policy

Your guests' stolen personal property in your home

Theft unreported within 60 days

Personal belongings in your car

Theft that occurs during an extended vacancy

Damage caused by a break-in

Theft from a rented unit on your property

Your dependent’s dorm room personal property

Theft of campers, watercrafts, or trailers away from your property.

Homeowners insurance is incredibly useful when it comes to theft. However, it’s not always enough. Take inventory of your personal valuables to determine how much coverage you need and what types of special coverage you should purchase. Then, protect your home by taking additional measures to safeguard it from thieves, and enjoy the discount premiums and peace of mind that comes with it.

About the Author

As a native Washingtonian, Carlos Reyes’ journey in the real estate industry began more than 15 years ago when he started an online real estate company. Since then, he’s helped more than 700 individuals and families as a real estate broker achieve their real estate goals across Virginia, Maryland and Washington, DC.

Carlos now helps real estate agents grow their business by teaching business fundamentals, execution, and leadership.

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