Does tenant insurance cover theft? – Councilor Forbes


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Getting something stolen is a pretty lousy feeling. Paying to replace the stolen item can be even worse. The average value of property taken in a theft is $ 1,162, according to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting Program.

You are most likely to have your personal belongings stolen from your car. About 27% of thefts are committed in cars and almost 10% in buildings. Stolen bikes account for around 3% of thefts. And while you’re much less likely to fall victim to pocket picking (0.6%) or snatching (0.4%), it does happen.

Fortunately, tenant insurance covers the theft of personal belongings both inside and outside your home.

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What is tenant insurance?

Renters insurance covers issues such as theft, damage to your property by issues such as fire, and injury to visitors. Renters’ insurance can generally be broken down into three main types of cover:

  • Personal property coverage. This coverage pays for your belongings if they are stolen and also for damage caused by fire, tornadoes, explosions, vandalism and more.
  • Liability coverage. Liability coverage pays for medical expenses if a guest is injured in your home and you are legally responsible, such as a slip-and-fall accident. It also covers property damage that you cause to others, such as a dog bite to a neighbor.
  • Additional living expenses. Also called “loss of use,” this pays for extra expenses like hotel bills and restaurant meals if you can’t live at home because of a policy issue, such as a fire.

How does renters’ insurance cover theft?

When you purchase a renters insurance policy, you have the option of choosing the policy limit for your personal property coverage, which is the maximum amount the insurer will pay if your property is stolen. For example, if you purchase coverage worth $ 30,000, your insurer will pay up to that amount.

Tenant insurance covers the theft of your belongings inside and outside your home. For example, if someone steals your things from your car or a hotel room, home insurance can reimburse you.

The policy will have a deductible, which is the amount of money deducted from an insurance claim check. For example, if someone steals your $ 1,000 watch and you have a $ 500 deductible, you will receive an insurance check for $ 500.

To make a claim for theft, you will need a police report. You will also need a list of the stolen items and their estimated value. Even better if you have receipts for the original items.

Related: Everything that tenant insurance covers

Understand the actual cash value versus replacement cost coverage

When you purchase a tenant insurance policy, you choose between actual cash surrender value (ACV) and replacement cost coverage. Replacement cost is the best coverage and will cost more. This is because ACV takes depreciation into account while the replacement cost will pay to replace your stolen item with a new and similar item (less the deductible).

Special limits for theft coverage

Your renters’ insurance policy likely has “special limits” for the theft of certain categories of items, such as jewelry, electronics, and collectibles. This means that your insurer will only pay up to the amount below the limit if the item is stolen. For example, a renters insurance policy may have a special limit of $ 1,000 on stolen jewelry. It will not cover your loss if a thief slips a $ 3,000 ring.

“For high-value items like bikes, cameras, musical instruments, and jewelry, you’ll want to get extra coverage,” says Yael Wissner-Levy, spokesperson for Lemonade Insurance. “In insurance terms, it’s called ‘personal property planning’ and it basically means adding an element of value to your insurance policy so that it can get additional coverage.”

Does renters insurance cover stolen bikes?

Renters’ insurance covers stolen bikes, whether stolen from your home or elsewhere, such as a bike rack outside of work. Keep in mind that your insurer might have a special limit on stolen bikes. For example, Progressive Insurance has a sub-limit of $ 1,500 on bicycles. If you want better coverage, you can “program” the bike.

If you own an expensive or specialized bike, you may want to consider bike insurance.

Here are some tips for preventing bike theft:

  • Move your padlock off the ground
  • Keep the gap between the padlock and the bike small
  • Store your bike out of sight if possible
  • Keep a copy of your bike’s serial number in a safe place
  • Register your bike with an online registry that works with law enforcement, such as the Bike Index

Does renters insurance cover stolen cash?

Renters insurance typically covers stolen cash, but the theft coverage sub-limit is generally low. For example, a renters’ insurance policy can cover stolen money up to $ 250.

Theft prevention tips

Renter insurance companies often offer discounts for having anti-theft devices like burglar alarms, smart or connected technology that alerts you to break-ins and deadbolts on exterior doors.

Here are some ways to increase home theft prevention tips:

  • Install a security system
  • Install deadbolts on exterior doors
  • Install door locks
  • Install a doorbell camera
  • Periodically change the code of your home entry device
  • Do not leave spare keys outside (such as under the doormat or in potted plants)
  • Secure your home wireless network to help prevent computer theft

Here are some tips for outside the house:

  • Do not leave objects (such as a laptop or smartphone) in plain view in your car
  • Don’t leave your car unlocked
  • Be aware of your surroundings and avoid distractions such as headphones or phone calls
  • Avoid unlit or deserted areas
  • Carry items such as laptops and electronics in any carrying case, briefcase or bag
  • Use purses or purses that have a flap or zipper
  • Carry wallets inside your coat pocket or front pants pocket

Renters insurance and theft faqs

How much tenant insurance do I need to cover theft?

When you purchase tenant insurance, you will be able to select the coverage limit for your personal property coverage. A home inventory is a great way to determine the coverage you need. You estimate the value of your personal effects and then select a coverage amount.

For example, if the estimated value of your property is around $ 28,000, you can choose $ 30,000 for personal property coverage. You will want to reserve personal belongings for high value items (like jewelry) so that you get paid what they are worth if they are stolen.

Does renters insurance cover damage to the car caused by burglary?

Renters insurance will not cover damage to your car due to burglary, such as broken windows or broken locks. The comprehensive insurance portion of your auto policy covers vehicle damage caused by break-ins and other issues, such as auto theft.


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