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Does Renters Insurance Cover Theft?

Alexa Goyette

One of the most stressful experiences you can have as a renter is coming home to find that your place has been broken into.

Fortunately, a typical renters insurance policy will reimburse you for belongings stolen from your apartment, up to the policy's limits. This includes theft of:

  • Electronic devices: televisions, laptops, tablets, phones, etc.
  • Clothing
  • Music or sports equipment: instruments, amplifiers, golf clubs, bikes, kayaks, skis, etc.
  • Furniture
  • Jewelry
  • Your wallet and the cash inside
  • New locks, if one of your keys has been stolen

How much does renters insurance cover?

Your renters insurance coverage amount should be based on the cost to replace all your possessions. Imagine a worst-case scenario in which your apartment building burned down. How much would it cost to buy clothes, furniture, rugs and everything else? That's your ideal coverage amount.

Here's what you should know:

  • Certain items typically have a dollar limit for theft, such as $1,500 for jewelry. Check the policy for limits on specific items.
  • You'll need a police report in order to file a theft claim.
  • If you make a theft claim, the insurance check will be reduced by the amount of your deductible.

If some of your items are more valuable than the coverage limit, you can purchase additional insurance. Buying scheduled personal property coverage in the form of a floater or rider will cover a valuable item for its true worth. Expensive art and valuable jewelry are good candidates for scheduled personal property coverage.

Your deductible could be more than the value of your stolen items. If you have $200 in cash stolen from your home and have a deductible of $500, it wouldn't be worth making a claim because there would be no claim payment.

Will renters insurance cover theft outside the home?

Renters insurance generally covers theft outside your home and while you are traveling. Whether your bike is stolen from your workplace or your luggage gets stolen on vacation, it's likely covered by insurance.

Does renters insurance cover theft from my car? Renters insurance generally covers personal items stolen from your car, such as cell phones, clothes and store purchases. However, a stolen car stereo would be covered by an auto insurance policy. If a thief causes damage to the car or steals the car itself, that would also be an auto insurance claim.

How to file a renters insurance theft claim

Contact the police immediately. Call the police as soon as possible to file a police report. If you don't file a claim immediately after you discover a theft, the insurer may find the claim suspicious.

Contact your insurer. Have the date of the theft, the police report and a list of stolen items. Having a home inventory beforehand is helpful in figuring out exactly what was taken.