Does Homeowners Insurance Cover Theft?

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Contributor, Benzinga
October 22, 2020

One of the first things you’ll probably want to know when you sign onto a homeowners insurance policy is whether you’re protected against theft and burglaries. Theft of any kind can make you feel unsafe in your own home — so a homeowners policy that includes theft coverage can bring peace of mind.

Many homeowners insurance policies do include coverage for theft. However, it’s important to remember that it’s your job as a homeowner to compare homeowners insurance policies and make sure that your plan includes theft coverage before you buy.

We’ll take a closer look at homeowners insurance and compare some of the best policies that include coverage for theft. 

The Best Homeowners Insurance for Theft

  • Nationwide: Best Overall Home Insurance for Theft
  • Hippo: Cheapest Home Insurance for Theft
  • Amica: Best Customer Service
  • USAA: Best for Past and Present Military Personnel

Homeowners Insurance Overview

Homeowners insurance is a type of protection that compensates you for damage done to your home or properties. You aren’t legally required to have homeowners insurance when you own a home. However, if you have a mortgage, you’ll almost always be required to maintain some form of homeowners insurance as a condition of your loan.

You’ll file a claim with your homeowners insurance company once your home becomes damaged. Your homeowners insurance company will reimburse you after you reach your deductible.

A deductible is the amount of money that you need to spend on your own repairs before your coverage “kicks in” and pays for those repairs. Most homeowners insurance policies have limitations on the total amount of money you can claim for a single incident.

There are multiple types of coverage offered with a standard homeowners insurance policy. Most basic policies include all 3 of the following coverages:

  • Dwelling coverage: Dwelling coverage protects your home’s structure against covered perils. Dwelling coverage is the most basic type of homeowners insurance, and it includes coverage for your home’s roof, walls, flooring, built-in appliances and attached structures. Your home may be damaged as a result of a covered peril, so your insurance company will compensate you for the money you spend repairing your property up to your policy limits.
  • Contents coverage: Contents coverage compensates you if the property inside of your home gets damaged during a covered peril. Since most homeowners insurance policies include theft as a covered peril, this means that most policies include theft protection by extension. The best homeowners insurance companies even include theft protection if your property is stolen outside of your home. For example, let’s say you put your smart tablet in your locker at work and someone breaks in and steals it. Your insurance might cover a replacement. However, keep in mind that not every homeowners insurance company offers contents coverage like this.
  • Personal liability coverage: Personal liability coverage protects you against legal action if someone sustains an injury on your property and sues you for medical reasons. Your personal liability coverage will pay for an attorney to represent you if you must go to court as well as any court-ordered judgments against you.

No homeowners insurance policy will cover everything. Your policy will include a list of covered perils that your home is protected against. Fire, theft and electrical storm damage are 3 of the most commonly covered perils. You won’t get compensated for any damage that results from if an incident isn’t on your list of covered perils.

You may be able to buy additional coverage to protect you against other perils. Some of the most common types of optional coverage include:

  • Flood insurance: Flood insurance protects you against damage from flooding. Flood insurance is a separate policy with its own deductible. Let’s say you live close to a creek, stream, lake or another body of water. You may need to buy flood insurance as a condition of your mortgage.
  • Earthquake insurance: Earthquake insurance protects you against damage that results from an earthquake. Do you live in an area that’s prone to earthquakes? If so, you may need to purchase earthquake insurance. Like flood insurance, earthquake insurance policies also include their own deductible.
  • Sewer backup coverage: Sewer backup coverage protects if your home is damaged after sewer water reverses course and floods your bathroom. This is an unfortunately common problem, especially for homes with older plumbing.

Make sure you read your policy thoroughly and that you fully understand what perils your policy covers — and doesn’t cover. 

What Does Theft Coverage Include?

Theft coverage includes protection for all of your furniture, clothing, electronics and other possessions. You’ll need to create an inventory of items that you want protection for before you get coverage. This is because the insurance company needs to know what you own to avoid insurance fraud.

Be sure to photograph everything that you want coverage for as proof that you actually own the items on your list. You should also research replacement costs for the items in your inventory. Remember to store a copy of this list and copies of all of your photographs both on a local server and in a cloud-based storage system.

You may need to purchase a policy add-on called a rider if you have something very expensive you want to protect. A rider extends your policy’s standard limits to include more coverage for high-value items.

Most homeowners insurance policies include limits that specify how much money you can get back for a certain type of item during a single incident. For example, you might have a policy that says that you’re covered for up to $10,000 of loss from theft but only $1,000 of this money can be used to reimburse stolen jewelry. You’ll also need a rider if, for example, you want to insure your $5,000 engagement ring for its full value. 

You’ll usually need to get a certificate of authenticity or appraisal for what you want to insure. Wedding rings, musical instruments and pieces of artwork are all often insured with riders.

Theft coverage doesn’t include any type of protection for your car or items in your car. A comprehensive auto insurance policy can protect you against losses after your car is stolen or if someone breaks into your vehicle. 

How Do I Know if my Policy Covers Theft?

Most home insurance policies cover theft — but check your policy. Read your contract and see if you’re protected against theft. Your theft coverage may also be called “contents coverage.” Still unsure whether you’re covered against theft? Contact your homeowners insurance company through a representative.   

What to Look for in Theft-Included Coverage

Let’s look at a few qualities you should search for when you compare homeowners insurance policies with theft coverage. 

  • Replacement cost coverage: Look for a policy that offers replacement cost coverage — not cash value coverage. Replacement cost compensates you for the actual amount of money you need to spend replacing your items. Cash value coverage considers what you’d pay to replace a similar item minus depreciation. Replacement cost coverage is better because it fully reimburses you up to your limit as you recover from theft.
  • High policy limits: You’ll need a policy with higher limits if you have a lot to protect in your home. Compare the cost to replace some of your most valuable possessions and choose a policy with limits that fit your needs.
  • Availability in your state: Not every home insurance provider is able to offer coverage in every state. Make sure that your insurance provider offers coverage where you live before you apply for a policy. 

The Best Home Insurance with Theft Coverage

Now, let’s take a look at a few of the best home insurance providers that offer theft coverage. 

Best For
  • Discounts

1. Nationwide: Best Overall

Nationwide homeowners policies are available throughout the country — and each policy includes theft coverage.

Nationwide’s Brand New Belongings policy reimburses you for the amount of money you spend replacing your possessions instead of its current market value.

Nationwide offers a number of discounts that you can use to lower the cost of your policy. And is also one of the most reliable choices for homeowners insurance and theft coverage. 

2. Hippo: Best for Fast Quotes & Most Affordable

Need homeowners insurance quickly? Hippo allows you to get an online quote in as little as 60 seconds.

Answer a few basic questions about your home and what you need coverage for and you’ll see your policy options laid out in plain English.

Hippo even offers extended protection, like excess coverage for electronic replacements.

This can be ideal for homeowners who need to get a more comprehensive policy. 

3. Amica: Best For High-quality Customer Service

Is great customer service at the top of your priority list? Amica might be the right company for you. Its representatives consistently score high marks in J.D. Power’s annual homeowner satisfaction survey.

Amica Mutual
Best For
  • First time policyholders

All policies include personal property converge, which protects you in a burglary.

Amica also offers replacement cost coverage, though this is an optional add-on. An easy claims process and theft coverage are standard.

Amica is a great homeowners insurance choice if you’re concerned about theft. 

4. USAA: Best for Military Families

USAA is a home and auto insurance company that offers policies to members of the armed forces, veterans and their immediate family members.

USAA Home Insurance
Best For
  • Members of the armed forces and their families

Though not everyone qualifies for a policy through USAA, those who do can take advantage of comprehensive policies and low rates.

All homeowners insurance products include replacement cost theft protection as a standard feature and are available in most parts of the country. 

Protect Yourself Against Theft

Make sure you thoroughly read through your policy’s terms before you sign up for a homeowners insurance policy. Your policy tells you exactly what’s covered — and what isn’t — so you can purchase additional protection. The last thing you need is to suffer a break-in only to find out your policy doesn’t cover theft. 

Frequently Asked Questions


Q: What can I do to ensure that my home is properly covered?


The most important thing you can do is have a conversation with your agent or carrier to be sure you have the right amount of coverage. Avoid putting just the minimum coverage on your home: Remember, if your home is destroyed, you need to have enough coverage to rebuild the entire home, so you’ll want to insure it for more than just the market value. Also, notify your insurer of renovations or changes that you make to your home — and don’t forget to check to be sure you have enough liability coverage. Get the best quote today from our top providers.


Q: What should I do if my home is damaged?


For any major damage, you should contact your insurer or agent as soon as you can. As part of a home insurance policy, you agree to notify the insurer of any claims in a timely manner. Your insurer can arrange for remediation if needed, which may include boarding up windows, roof tarps, and other measures. Take action to reduce the damage if you can do so safely. An example might be turning off the water supply if you have a burst pipe.


Q: What does home insurance cover?


Most modern home insurance policies cover your home for nearly all risks. However, every policy has exclusions, among which you’ll find things like neglect, wear and tear, and ordinance or law. Land movement, including earthquakes, and floods are excluded as well but can be insured with a separate policy. Personal property and liability coverage is also part of most home insurance policies. Get the best policy quote here.

About Sarah Horvath

Sarah is an expert in the insurance, investing for retirement and cryptocurrency space.