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A typical homeowners insurance policy covers theft and will replace any items stolen from your home, hotel room, or on your personal property.

One of the first things your insurer will request is that you file a police report within 60 days of the robbery. After that, a claims adjuster may come to your home to assess your loss. The more information you provide to the claims adjuster about the stolen items, the quicker the claims process will be. Documentation can include receipts, photographs, and appraisals.

Key Takeaways

  • Make sure that you frequently update your home inventory list, keep it in a safe place, and save a digital copy
  • Respond immediately to the requests of the insurance company to expedite the claim process if your home was burglarized
  • Focus on burglary prevention by not advertising that you will be out of town and make sure you secure your home at all times. Keep valuables, such as expensive jewelry, in a safety-deposit box

When does homeowners insurance cover theft?

Homeowners insurance will cover theft if it occurs inside or outside your home. Here are some other circumstances when homeowners insurance will cover theft: 

  • On vacation: Even if you’re on vacation and your items are stolen from you, homeowners insurance will replace them. However, there is usually a cap for items stolen away from your property.
  • Inside your car: If your belongings were stolen from your car, homeowners insurance will cover their replacement.
  • In your child’s dorm room: If a burglary occurs in your child’s dorm room, many homeowners insurance policies will replace the stolen items.
  • With guests:  If a guest’s belongings were stolen from your property, your homeowners insurance policy will reimburse them.

When doesn’t homeowners insurance cover theft?

  • If you don’t report burglaries: If you wait more than 60 days to file a police report, homeowners insurance will not reimburse you for the stolen items.
  • If you live somewhere else: If you have not been living in your home for over two months, your claim will likely be denied. You should instead buy vacant and unoccupied homeowners insurance.
  • If you commit the theft: If you stage a robbery or steal from someone you live with, your claim will be denied. 
  • If your student lives off-campus:  While homeowners insurance will cover theft if your child lives in a dorm, they won’t cover any burglaries if they live in off-campus housing. 
  • If you rented a unit out: Any theft in a rented area of your home is not covered by homeowners insurance.

What part of homeowners insurance covers break-ins?

Dwelling coverage is included in homeowners insurance and covers any damage caused to the structure of your home by break-ins. Any windows, doors, or locks damaged during a break-in will be reimbursable from a standard homeowners insurance policy.

A standard homeowners insurance policy also includes personal property coverage, which replaces your items if they are stolen during a burglary. 

How much protection does homeowners insurance provide for theft?

Homeowners insurance policies will reimburse you for the total cost of most of your stolen property (up to your personal property limit). For example, you’ll likely be paid in full for kitchen appliances and furniture. 

For the more expensive items, insurers have limits of liability that cap how much they’ll reimburse you for each stolen item. Items with these caps include jewelry, firearms, and money.

How to file a homeowners insurance claim for theft 

Be sure to read your home insurance policy to understand the terms and limits of your coverage. It is important to find out whether claim payments for personal property losses will be based on replacement cost or actual cash value.

Also, it is important to be timely as you comply with requests from your insurance company. If your agent sends you documents to sign, do so immediately so that time is not wasted.

If you own a single-family home, remember the land it rests on is not at risk from burglary, fire, theft or other perils covered in your home policy. Your aim should be to pay for only enough coverage to replace your dwelling and its contents. Do not worry about your home’s value on the real estate market. You may need enough insurance money to rebuild your house, but you won’t need to buy a new one.

The time it takes for an insurer to pay a theft claim varies widely and depends on what was stolen and if there was damage to your home.

Insurance is a competitive field, so remember to choose an insurer offering a fair price and good service. See’s list of best homeowners insurance companies for customer satisfaction ratings.

How to protect your house from theft

Here are some tips to prevent a break-in:

  • Suspend mail and newspaper deliveries or arrange to have these items picked up by a friend or neighbor when you are on vacation.
  • Lock your doors anytime you leave your home and make sure all the windows are secured.
  • Do not leave a spare key under your mat or in your mailbox. Such “secret” places are known to experienced burglars.
  • Keep valuables, such as expensive jewelry, in a safety-deposit box.
  • Take your purse, wallet, and laptop into your bedroom at night. Some burglars will avoid bedrooms if they think a home may be occupied.
  • Do not announce that you are not at home via social media.

Frequently asked questions

Does home insurance cover theft from a vehicle?

Yes. Homeowners insurance may reimburse you for items stolen from your vehicle.

Does homeowners insurance cover theft outside the home?

Yes. Homeowners insurance will replace items that were stolen outside your home. For example, if your suitcase is stolen from your hotel room, homeowners insurance will reimburse you for the items.

Does homeowners insurance cover theft from a garage?

Your garage is considered your personal property and any theft from your garage is covered by homeowners insurance.

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Nupur Gambhir
Managing Editor


Nupur Gambhir is a content editor and licensed life, health, and disability insurance expert. She has extensive experience bringing brands to life and has built award-nominated campaigns for travel and tech. Her insurance expertise has been featured in Bloomberg News, Forbes Advisor, CNET, Fortune, Slate, Real Simple, Lifehacker, The Financial Gym, and the end-of-life planning service.