@media only screen and (min-width: 64em) { .hero { height: 360px; } .hero__headline { margin-top: 0%; margin-left: 0%; } .hero__foreground { bottom: 0%; left: 0%; transform: scale(1); } } @media only screen and (min-width: 40em) and (max-width: 64em) { .hero { height: 290px; } .hero__headline { margin-top: 0%; margin-left: 0%; } .hero__foreground { bottom: 0%; left: 0%; transform: scale(1); } } @media only screen and (max-width: 40em) { .hero { height: 350px; } .hero__headline { margin-top: 0%; margin-left: 0%; } .hero__foreground { bottom: 0%; left: 0%; transform: scale(1); } }

Does renters insurance cover theft?

Fact-checked with HomeInsurance.com

    Article Highlights

    Renters insurance offers you financial protection and is usually required as part of your lease agreement. One of the many perks of getting a renters insurance policy is that you are largely protected if your belongings are stolen. There are many scenarios in which theft is covered by renters insurance. In fact, your coverage may be even better than you are aware. 

    What is renters insurance?

    Renters insurance is a policy that protects your personal possessions in the event they’re stolen or damaged. It also includes liability protection in case someone is injured or has their property damaged at your rental home — paying for certain incurred expenses up to your policy limit. Finally, renters insurance includes additional living expenses (ALE). If your rental is damaged and you can’t live there while repairs are being made, ALE covers the costs involved with temporarily living somewhere else, like a hotel. 

    When does renters insurance cover theft?

    Renters insurance covers theft in most cases, when there is a break-in of your home or vehicle, and up to policy limits. You’ll need to file a police report and contact your insurance company to file a claim. Each insurance company will have its own timeline for how long you have to file. Your insurer subtracts the deductible from your reimbursement amount. So if your insurance company is going to reimburse you for $2,000 of stolen goods but you have a $500 deductible, you would only receive $1,500. 

    Does renters insurance cover theft outside the home?

    Luckily, renters insurance for stolen property does extend beyond your actual rental property. If your laptop is stolen out of your car or someone grabs your purse off the back of your chair at a restaurant, you can typically file a claim with your renters insurance policy. Renters insurance also covers your belongings when traveling domestically or abroad. However, it may not cover the theft of your belongings kept inside another person’s rental property or vehicle. Ask an agent what the provider’s policy is in these circumstances. 

    Does renters insurance cover car or bike theft?

    While belongings within your car are covered, the vehicle itself is not covered by renters insurance; this would be covered under your auto insurance policy. Also, note that attached components of your vehicle — like the sound system — are not covered by renters insurance either.

    Does renters insurance cover bike theft? Good news — it does. You’ll be covered up to the limit of your policy, in the event it is stolen. If you have an expensive bike that exceeds policy limits, however, you may consider a special policy to fully insure it.

    Does renters insurance cover stolen cash?

    Cash is only covered by renters insurance only up to a certain amount. Check your specific policy to find out the limit. On the plus side, however, you usually don’t have to pay a deductible when getting reimbursed for stolen cash.

    Does renters insurance cover theft of other people’s belongings?

    Family members are typically covered in your renters insurance policy. But if you had a friend staying with you and someone broke in and stole their suitcase, for example, they would not be covered under your policy. But if they have their own renters or homeowners insurance policy, they could potentially file a claim with their own insurer.

    Does renters insurance cover theft by my roommate?

    You could potentially be reimbursed if your roommate steals your belongings, unless they’re a family member covered under your policy. The downside is that you would typically need to file criminal charges with the police in order to successfully file a claim. If they stole your stuff and skipped town, you might not care too much. But if you’re still living together and trying to resolve a dispute yourselves, you may not want to take that path. 

    Will the full value of my belongings be covered?

    How you’re reimbursed for stolen property depends on the type of renters insurance policy you have. The cheaper policies pay actual cash value (ACV) for a claim. This takes depreciation into account, meaning you’re only reimbursed for the value of your goods based on their age — not for the cost of buying them in new condition. 

    The more expensive but comprehensive option is to get a replacement cost (RCV) policy. This reimburses you for the cost of a new version of the stolen items. There is a limit to how much you can claim, so make sure that amount matches up to the replacement value of your belongings.

    Preventing theft

    Even though renters insurance does cover theft, preventing theft altogether is a much more convenient (not to mention safer) approach to protecting yourself from loss. Follow these tips to keep your rental (and yourself) as protected as possible. 

    Lock all entry points

    It may seem like common sense, but the best way to protect your rental is to always keep your doors and windows locked, whether you’re home or out. In fact, GEICO reports that 60% of residential burglaries occur at homes that are unlocked in some way. Don’t make it easy for a thief to enter your home. You don’t want to become a victim simply because someone was testing door knobs and yours was the first one to budge.

    Avoid tagging social media posts

    It’s easy for local thieves (or even people you know) to scan social media posts and realize you’re not at home. While it may be tempting to keep an ongoing feed of your whereabouts, this isn’t a smart habit from a safety perspective. Also, don’t post about upcoming vacations or post public photos while you’re still away. If you want to share these moments with your friends and followers, wait until you’ve returned home.

    Install a security system

    There are lots of easy-to-install security systems that are good options for renters. Many rely on wi-fi, so you don’t need to worry about having or installing a landline. A security system often includes monitoring for a monthly price or you can opt to simply connect cameras to your smartphone to keep an eye on the place. This strategy not only keeps your home safer, you may also earn a discount on your renters insurance policy. 

    The takeaway

    • Renters insurance covers theft in most cases.
    • Belongings are usually covered outside your home, including while traveling. 
    • You must file a police report in order to make a claim with your insurer.
    • Claim payouts are based on depreciated or replacement value. Make sure your policy limits account for the value of your belongings.

    Renters insurance has fairly comprehensive protection when it comes to personal property being stolen. Check your policy to make sure your limits are appropriate for your belongings, and consider making some minor adjustments to prevent theft altogether in your rental home.

    Lauren Ward

    Lauren Ward is a writer for Coverage.com. She specializes in all things personal finance, including insurance, loans, and real estate.

    Same-day car insurance: What… Read Next Does renters insurance cover…