Homeowner's Academy

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Does Home Insurance Cover Theft? What Is & Isn't Covered

by Chantel Robillard | Feb 17, 2021
A thief dressed in black and holding a flashlight rummaging through a home I the dark.

If you have homeowners insurance, your house and your belongings are covered to the extent of your specific policy, including instances of burglary and theft. Home insurance policies differ in coverage; some policies may only cover specific aspects of the home, structures on your property, and a certain amount of personal property. Additional insurance may be required for valuables and liability or casualty coverage. Your coverage may also only cover your primary property and valuables. Therefore, if you own a second home, you may need additional insurance for that residence and the property and valuables within it.

You can only do so much to prevent vandals from targeting your home. Still, you can control your policy and coverage to ensure you can be compensated for damages and stolen items in the event of vandalism, theft, or burglary.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Theft from a Car?

Your personal property and home insurance policy may cover the theft of items from a car. Home insurance policies that include personal property coverage protects items that typically reside within your home — even if they are not in your home when they are stolen. Common items covered as personal property include furniture, clothing, electronics, and other personal items.

For example:

A thief breaks your car window and steals your laptop, your jacket, and the sound system in your car.

  • If you have comprehensive car insurance, your policy may cover the cost of the broken window.
  • The sound system of your car may be covered by comprehensive car insurance if it is originally from the manufacturer. If it is not original from the manufacturer, it may only be covered by additional car insurance coverage.
  • Your personal property homeowner's coverage would cover your jacket and laptop.

However, it is important to note that your personal property coverage may have a reimbursement limit, may only provide the actual cash value for the item, or may include replacement cost coverage.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Auto Theft?

Your vehicle is considered a different object from your home and personal property in regards to insurance. Though items of personal property in your car may be covered under a homeowners insurance policy, the car itself will require its own insurance policy. If your car is stolen, you may receive reimbursement if you have comprehensive car insurance.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Stolen Items?

Every insurance policy will have its own limits and restrictions regarding what is and is not covered. This may include dwelling coverage, coverage for additional structures, and personal property coverage. A home insurance policy with personal property coverage will protect your personal possessions, clothing, and furnishings in most cases. Your home insurance may also cover any damages to your property that occurred from the break-in — broken windows or doors.

However, items that are exceptionally valuable, including jewelry, fine art, expensive electronics, silver, or collectibles, may require additional and specific coverage policies. It is also important to note that personal property coverage usually provides reimbursement in two forms; actual cash value and replacement cost coverage.

Actual cash value means you will be reimbursed for items at their current state of value. Replacement cost coverage will reimburse you for the cost it takes to replace the item.

For example:

A person breaks into your home and steals your 3-year-old gaming console. You may have bought the gaming console for $500, but due to depreciation, it is now only worth $200.

  • If your policy is for actual cash value, you would receive $200.
  • If your policy is for replacement cost coverage, you would receive the amount it takes to replace the item with a new item — the cost of a new gaming console.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Cash Theft?

A homeowner's insurance policy may include limited cash recovery, typically in the standard amount of $200 regardless of the amount stolen. Many insurance policies offer higher coverage through an endorsement for cash, coin collections, or other valuable items, but this will increase your monthly premium. There will most likely still be a cap on how much you can be reimbursed.

Does Home Insurance Cover Theft Outside the Home?

Just as your belongings are covered if they are stolen from your vehicle, your belongings may also be covered in the event of theft outside of the home. It is important to understand the off-premise coverage of your plan, as each plan may have unique coverage. Circumstances may also affect the amount that you will be reimbursed. This may include high-value items or whether your off-premise coverage has a cap.

For example:

  • If you are working from a laptop in a café and your laptop is stolen, you may be able to receive reimbursement for the item. The reimbursement amount may be determined by the value of the item, what type of coverage you have, and if you have an off-premise coverage limit.

Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Theft While Traveling?

You may be worried about the safety of your home when you travel as well as the coverage of the items you bring with you. Your home insurance policy will not change the coverage you have because you are out of town. The belongings you bring with you may be covered under your homeowners insurance policy.

For example:

  • A break-in occurs at your primary residence while you are on vacation. The coverage of your plan does not change because you are out of town.
  • Your luggage is stolen at the airport, or your items are stolen from a hotel room. Your homeowners insurance will likely cover your stolen belongings as your personal property to the extent of your policy.

You should review your home insurance policy annually to ensure that all of your valuables and belongings are covered in your insurance plan for peace of mind while traveling. It is also generally good to check and update your policy annually to ensure your coverage is comprehensive and any new valuables you have acquired are covered.


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