Renters insurance theft coverage

Theft is one of the perils that is covered by a standard renters insurance policy. If you have been robbed, you can file a claim with your renters insurance company, and it will reimburse you up to the policy’s limits based on the type of reimbursement you have chosen.

When you file a renters insurance claim for theft, your deductible amount will be taken off the total settlement.

How much does renters insurance cover for theft?

A renters insurance policy will cover you up to the personal property limit you chose when you purchased the policy.

However, how much you actually get for the stolen items will depend on whether you have replacement cost coverage or actual cash value coverage. Replacement cost coverage provides you with the full amount to buy the items new. Actual cash value reimburses you for what the items were worth at the time of the theft. Actual cash value is calculated based on the replacement cost minus any depreciation.

Let’s say you bought a TV that cost $2,000 new. It’s five years old and has depreciated by $600. The cost to buy a similar TV new (replacement cost) is $2,400. With a replacement cost policy, you would get $2,400 for that TV. With an actual cash value policy, you would get $1,800 ($2,400 - $600 = $1,800).

Your deductible will be taken out of the amount you are paid, so in this scenario, the total settlement with a $500 deductible is $1,900 for replacement cost and $1,300 for actual cash value.

Renters insurance also has special limits on specific types of items. They include:

  • Jewelry
  • Furs
  • Firearms
  • Musical instruments
  • Coins, silver, and gold

Limits are usually between $1,500 and $2,500, depending on the type of property. If you have any high-value items, you should consider a floater (a special endorsement) to cover their full value. If you have a floater, your renters insurance covers the item if it’s lost. Otherwise, lost items, or what insurance companies call “mysterious disappearance,” are not covered.

Does renters insurance cover theft outside the home?

Yes, renters insurance protection goes beyond your property.

Possessions at another location, such as a storage unit or during a house move, are also covered. However, renters insurance usually caps coverage to a lower level for items stolen outside of your apartment. Usually, the limit for personal property off-premises is 10% of the total personal property coverage. Special limits also apply. So, renters insurance covers stolen jewelry away from home up to the special limits for jewelry rather than the full 10%.

If you have a floater, there are no restrictions; the item is covered for its full appraised value anywhere.

Does renters insurance cover theft from a car?

Yes, a renters insurance policy covers your items when stolen from your car, no matter where the car is parked at the time.

Your car insurance will only cover you for damage to the car during the theft and theft of any parts of the car that are permanently installed. If personal property is stolen, renters will cover that loss.

Does renters insurance cover theft from garage?

Personal property stolen from a garage, whether attached or detached, is covered by renters insurance. Since the garage is considered part of the home premises, off-premises limits don’t apply.

Does renters insurance cover theft while traveling?

Yes, renters insurance covers your personal belongings if they’re stolen while you’re traveling. The coverage follows you anywhere in the world, at the off-premises limit.

Does renters insurance cover bike theft?

Yes, renters insurance typically covers bicycle theft up to your policy’s limit. If you have an expensive bike, you may want to get a policy rider for additional coverage.

Check with your renters insurance company to ensure you have enough bike coverage.

How to file a renters insurance claim for theft

Filing a renters insurance theft claim is like filing any other home insurance claim.

First, file a police report about the theft. Then, notify your insurance company.

You’ll need to provide specific information about what was stolen. Provide model and serial numbers if you know them. Also, share photos of the stolen items, if possible.

The renters insurance company will investigate the claim and decide whether to approve it and how much to give you.

Remember that only items you personally own are covered. Your landlord can’t make a claim on your renters insurance if something they own, like an appliance, is stolen. Their own insurance policy will cover that loss.