Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Theft?

Posted June 25th, 2019 by Jason Metz

Depending on your homeowners insurance policy, you’ll be reimbursed for either the replacement cost or the actual cash value of the stolen items, up to the policy limits.

  • Replacement cost coverage replaces stolen items with new items of “like kind and quality.” This is generally the best choice.
  • Actual cash value coverage takes depreciation into account and pays for items at the current value. So if your 10-year old TV was stolen, reimbursement is for a 10-year old TV.

If you own particularly valuable items, a standard homeowners policy may not be enough to cover the full value if they’re stolen. That’s because coverage is typically broken down into sub-limits for groups of items or individual items, like works of art, jewelry, memorabilia and musical instruments. For example, stolen jewelry may have a $1,500 sub-limit, meaning the insurance company won’t pay more than $1,500 even if your $4,000 watch is stolen.

If you need more coverage for certain items, you can purchase additional insurance by buying “scheduled property insurance.” It’s an add-on to a homeowners insurance policy to cover valuable items for their total worth. Antiques, family heirlooms, jewelry, musical instruments and valuable collections are commonly “scheduled” items.

To have an item scheduled, you’ll typically need to provide your insurance company with a receipt or appraisal of the item.

Homeowners insurance theft sub-limits

Do you have to pay a deductible for theft?

There’s usually a deductible for theft claims, meaning the insurance check will be reduced by the amount of the deductible. For example, if you have a $1,000 deductible and your claim is for $2,500, you’ll receive a check for $1,500.

Does insurance cover stolen cash?

Not all homeowners insurance policies cover stolen cash. Policies that cover stolen cash typically have low sub-limits. For example, it might only cover up to $200 of stolen cash.

Does homeowners insurance cover theft of jewelry?

Homeowners insurance typically covers stolen jewelry, but most policies have a maximum sub-limit. For example, a policy sub-limit might be $1,500 for all stolen jewelry. That won’t be enough coverage if a necklace worth $5,000 is stolen.

Consider buying “scheduled property insurance” coverage if you need to cover valuable jewelry.

Does homeowners insurance cover away home?

Homeowners insurance typically covers theft outside of a home, sometimes referred to as “off-premises coverage.” For example, if your laptop is stolen while you’re at the library, you can file a homeowners insurance claim.

Does homeowners insurance cover theft while you are on vacation?

Homeowners insurance typically covers theft while you are on vacation, such as luggage that’s stolen from a hotel room.

Does homeowners insurance cover items stolen from a car?

Homeowners insurance typically covers theft of personal belongings from a car, like clothes, store purchases, laptops and cell phones. However, a stolen car stereo would be covered by an auto insurance policy.

Does homeowners insurance cover auto theft?

Homeowners insurance does not cover a stolen car. You would need to have comprehensive insurance on your auto policy to make a stolen-vehicle claim.

Here’s more on what to do if your car is stolen.

Does homeowners insurance cover stolen credit cards?

Some homeowners insurance policies cover up to a certain amount for unauthorized credit card charges related to a theft. For example, a policy might cover up to $500 of unauthorized credit card charges.

Does homeowners insurance cover children living away at college?

Homeowners insurance generally covers a child’s belongings at college. That can include a TV stolen from a dorm room or a laptop stolen from the library. However, a child in an off-campus apartment needs renters insurance for proper coverage

Does insurance cover stolen tools?

Homeowners insurance typically covers stolen tools, though there may be some exceptions, including:

  • Tools that are used for business purposes.
  • Tools that are stolen while your property is under construction.

Does homeowners insurance cover my tenants’ stolen property?

Homeowners insurance typically does not cover a tenant’s stolen property. Tenants need renters insurance for their own belongings.

How do I file a homeowners insurance claim after a theft?

Follow the steps below to make a theft claim. Keep in mind, the insurance check will be reduced by the amount of your deductible. Making a theft claim could cause your homeowners insurance rates to go up in the future.

1. Notify the police immediately. You’ll need a police report to file a theft claim.

2. Contact your insurance company to start the claims process.

3. Compile a list of the stolen items, including receipts, if they’re available. Having a home inventory can help speed up the process.

4. Complete the necessary claims forms.

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