Renters insurance does typically cover some theft. It also protects you from property loss due to several other causes. The right policy can also limit your losses if someone else gets injured on your property and you’re deemed responsible. Renters insurance is an essential purchase for most renters, and all renters should carefully consider its benefits.
If you’re like most people and don’t want your stuff stolen, renters insurance can be a good idea. In fact, it can be a good idea for many reasons in addition to theft. Let’s dig into the benefits of renters insurance, how to file a claim, and what you can do to make theft of your property less likely.
What is renters insurance?
Renters insurance is property insurance for those renting a home. Typically, a landlord has insurance on the building itself. Renters insurance protects the contents of the property and can pay for damages to the property deemed the renter’s responsibility.
You may not expect this, but renters insurance can cover a lot more than just the contents of your home.
Key renters insurance coverages
- 1. Liability coverage: Liability coverage insures against any bodily or property damage you cause to guests or neighbors.
- 2. Personal property coverage: Personal property coverage insures against theft or destruction of your property. It can cover damage from fire, tornadoes, explosions, vandalism, and more.
- 3. Additional living expenses: Coverage for additional living expenses is also called “loss of use” coverage. It takes care of expenses if an event displaces you from your home or prevents you from paying living expenses. The event must be covered under your insurance policy, like a fire.
Finding the right renters insurance
Check out the best renters insurance on the market and compare policies before choosing the right one for you. Talk to an insurance agent to get more information on which policy can meet your insurance needs.
When does renters insurance cover theft?
Theft is a concern for homeowners and renters alike. As long as stolen property belongs to you or a family member, renters insurance offers theft protection for the majority of cases inside and outside your home.
Renters insurance theft coverage inside your home
When you think of theft as it relates to your apartment or house, you usually think of your belongings inside the home. Renters insurance covers stolen property from inside your home.
For example, if you accidentally leave your garage open and someone steals your bike, your insurance policy can cover the cost to replace the bike. If a thief enters your home and steals your electronics, that, too, will likely be covered.
Renters insurance popular with the SuperMoney community
One renters insurance provider that has received especially positive reviews* from customers in the SuperMoney community is Lemonade Renters Insurance.
For comparison, renters insurance with mixed reviews
SuperMoney users’ reviews of USAA Renters Insurance have not been as positive* as those for Lemonade. But users who have been pleased with it have been very pleased, and the company’s financial strength and benefits could make it worth considering alongside Lemonade and other renters insurance.
Renters insurance theft coverage outside your home
Does renters insurance cover theft outside of your home? Yes, comprehensive renters insurance does cover items stolen outside of the home. With this type of insurance, you can rest easy knowing you are protected anywhere around the world. For example, if you get pick-pocketed while traveling in Barcelona, your renters insurance can help replace your stolen belongings.
There are exceptions for coverage outside of your home. For example, if someone breaks into your car and steals items, your renters insurance will likely cover the items stolen. However, it won’t cover damage to your car. You’ll have to refer to your car insurance company for that.
What are the renters insurance theft coverage limits?
A typical renters insurance policy comes with limitations. Renters insurance won’t cover every theft scenario you could ever encounter. Consult your trusted insurance agent and read through your policy carefully to make sure you have the coverage you need.
Let’s review a few of the limitations you may find in your policy.
Special coverage limits commonly apply for belongings including electronics, jewelry, collectibles, bikes, and musical equipment. Often, your policy will indicate a limit on how much of the cost of an item it covers. For example, your renters insurance policy may cover up to $1,000 in stolen jewelry. If you have earrings worth $2,000, you may want to purchase additional coverage for them.
How to overcome special coverage limits
- Additional policy: The first way is to get a separate insurance policy to cover the value your existing policy doesn’t cover.
- Additional coverage on your existing policy: The second way is to do something called “scheduling personal property.” Scheduled personal property coverage is extra coverage for specific items added to your renters insurance policy. Thus, it enables you to get extra personal property coverage without acquiring a separate, additional policy.
Cash theft limits
Does renters insurance cover theft of cash? Yes and no. Stolen cash is usually covered under renters insurance. However, there are typically low limits for stolen cash. Check with your insurance provider to fine-tune your policy limits and get the maximum coverage you feel you need.
Limits based on type of coverage
There are two ways your insurance policy will compensate you for stolen property. When you select your renters insurance policy, you’ll choose between replacement cost and actual cash value coverage.
Your choice will dictate the amount you are compensated for stolen items. Keep in mind that, either way, you will have to meet your deductible before your insurance company pays for anything.
Replacement cost coverage
Replacement cost coverage is the more comprehensive coverage of the two, which means it is more expensive. With this coverage, your insurance provider will compensate you with the money to replace your item with a new, similar product.
Actual cash value coverage
Actual cash value coverage means you’ll be paid less when you file a claim. It also means your coverage should cost less. Actual cash value takes the replacement cost and subtracts depreciation. Depreciation means the value lost due to such factors as wear and tear.
If replacement cost is the new price, actual cash value coverage is the used price. Insurance providers will determine depreciation using a formula, and they should be able to explain the formula they use to you before you agree to a policy.
How to file an insurance claim after theft
So you had something stolen? We’re sorry to hear that. Being a victim of robbery is stressful. Luckily, filing a claim with your renters insurance is usually an easy process.
How to file your renters insurance claim
- File a police report: Call the police or go to your local station as soon as possible after the theft. A police report is useful to validate the theft’s occurrence.
- Gather information: You’ll need some information and documentation, and it’s best to gather it ahead of time to help your claim filing go smoothly. Relevant information includes the police report, a list of everything stolen, total value of items (to the best of your knowledge), your contact information, and your insurance policy or member information.
- File an insurance claim: Call your insurance provider or go online to file a claim. The process may vary across providers. Your personal insurance agent will be able to guide you through the process or point you in the right direction.
- Verification and payout: Your insurance company may take anywhere from a few hours to a few weeks to review your claim. Once it’s verified, pay you for your stolen property. The payout will depend on your deductible and coverage limits.
How to prevent theft
Some ways you can prevent theft:
It’s smart to make theft prevention a part of your life. Having even a few measures in place can save you from some unfortunate situations. You may even be able to lower your premium cost by having anti-theft technology. Insurance companies like anything that lowers their risk of having to pay for your stolen property.
Pro tip: mind you wallet
If you normally carry your wallet in your bag (or in a purse or backpack), consider changing this practice. If you carry your wallet in a clothing pocket instead, you will at least have your wallet on you if your bag gets stolen.
- If you are renting your home, you’ll almost certainly need renters insurance. Most renters insurance policies come with liability coverage, personal property coverage, and additional living expense coverage.
- Renters insurance covers theft of items both inside and outside of your home. There are limits that apply to certain types of personal property. Speak to your insurance provider to make sure you have the coverage you need.
- If you have belongings stolen, you should file a police report and find out the total value of the belongings before filing an insurance claim.
- Take measures to prevent thievery so that you can avoid having to use your renters insurance theft coverage.
Can I claim theft on renters insurance?
You can claim theft on renters insurance. You’ll have to check the terms of your policy or talk to your insurance company to find out the extent of your coverage.
What is typically not covered by renters insurance?
Typically, renters insurance does not cover theft of items such as large amounts of cash, vehicles, or electronics exceeding coverage limits. Speak with your insurance company to see what’s included in your renters insurance policy.
What are the three things covered by renters insurance?
The three main things covered under renters insurance are liability, personal property, and additional living expenses.
Is stolen property covered by homeowner’s or renter’s insurance?
Stolen property is often covered under your homeowners or renters insurance. The amount of coverage may be limited for select items such as electronics and jewelry.
View Article Sources
- Home Inventory — National Association of Insurance Commissioners
- Home Inventory Checklist — National Association of Insurance Commissioners
- Relevant background articles by Forbes, Lending Tree, Progressive, and general insurance sites — Various
- The Costs and Benefits of Renter’s and Homeowner’s Insurance — Rutgers
- What’s the deal with renters insurance? — Arizona State University
- Best Renters Insurance — SuperMoney
- Considering Renters Insurance? Avoid These Costly Mistakes — SuperMoney
- Lemonade Renters Insurance Review — SuperMoney
- USAA Renters Insurance Review — SuperMoney