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A standard homeowners insurance policy covers theft of your personal property. Coverage applies not just in your home, but anywhere, including your car or a hotel room.

To file a claim for theft, you will need to file a police report. Any time a crime is involved, the insurance company will require that it be reported to the police. You’ll need to provide a complete list of what was stolen.

Your belongings are covered for theft up to the personal property limit of your policy, although some types of property, like jewelry, are subject to special limits.

Key Takeaways

  • Home insurance covers your personal property for theft anywhere in the world.
  • If your home has been burglarized or your property stolen from anywhere, else, immediately report it to the police.
  • Personal property is covered up to the policy limits, although some categories of personal property are subject to special limits and may require additional coverage.

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 a cap of 10% of the personal property limit 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.

When doesn’t homeowners insurance cover theft?

  • If you didn’t file a police report: If you wait more than 60 days to file a police report, homeowners insurance will not reimburse you for the stolen items.
  • If the home is vacant: Home insurance doesn’t cover theft from homes that have been vacant for more than 60 days.
  • If a household member committed the theft: If a family member who lives in your home steals from you, it won’t be covered. 
  • 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.

Personal property coverage covers the stolen items.

How much protection does homeowners insurance provide for theft?

Homeowners insurance will reimburse you for the actual cash value 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. You can add additional coverage for high-value items or extend your overall coverage for certain categories.

Actual cash value is the replacement cost of the item minus depreciation. You can add replacement cost coverage for personal property to your policy so that items are replaced at their current replacement cost value.

How to file a homeowners insurance claim for theft 

To file a home insurance claim for theft, first file a police report and then contact your insurance company. You can often file online or over the phone; if you have an agent, contact their office for assistance.

Provide information about the police report, what was stolen and when and how the theft occurred. Take photos of any damage or signs of burglary to send to your insurance adjuster.

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.

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.

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 a part of your home 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.