Theft Coverage

Your personal property is covered at home and basically anywhere else on most homeowners policies.

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Theft is a peril (aka a bad thing) your insurer covers – it applies to your personal property at home, and anywhere else.

What’s considered theft in insurance?

Insurance protects you from sudden, unexpected things that may happen to you (or that you may accidentally do to others). Theft fits the bill… as long as you’re not the thief

What’s cool about this named peril (if we can say perils are cool?!) is that your insurer will cover your stuff both at home and anywhere else, even abroad! So if your earrings are stolen from your hotel safe while you’re out to dinner, or someone swipes your purse when you’re out sightseeing, you’re covered!

Does homeowners insurance cover theft?


As we mentioned above, theft is a named peril (which also include other bad things that may happen to your stuff because of fire, vandalism, freezing, and more). Renters insurance always covers theft – and homeowners insurance covers theft, too.

That said, like most parts of your insurance policy, there are a few exceptions you should note.

Theft isn’t covered if:

  1. You’re the one who stole something
  2. It happened somewhere you rent/own that’s under construction
  3. It happened at your place when someone’s renting it out

While the first is pretty obvious, the second two are less so.

Insurance is there to protect you from sudden, accidental events that you couldn’t have prevented on your own – essentially unforeseeable risks. Places that are under construction or rented out to others carry a much higher risk of something happening to your stuff, and are therefore excluded from your coverage.

Read: that super fancy watch you left in your room while renting out your place that was stolen? Not covered by your insurance company.

When theft is covered… and when it isn’t

Now let’s dig into some practical examples of when theft would and wouldn’t be covered by your insurance company:

Example 1: Burglarized apartment

Let’s say you go out for a movie with a friend, and come home to find that a burglar broke into your place and stole your TV, computer, sound system, a bunch of expensive jewelry, and your friend’s backpack which had a laptop and headphones inside. Ouch.

Would you be covered? Yes, mostly.

First off, your and your friend’s stuff would be covered, provided they don’t have a policy of their own. Just make sure you can provide a full inventory of what was stolen, make and model, receipts, and pictures if possible. The more info you can get, the easier it will be for your claims adjuster and insurance company to process your claim.

The only tricky thing in this scenario is the expensive jewelry.

Most companies provide around $1,500 of insurance coverage for jewelry under your base insurance policy. If your jewelry was worth more than that, you’ll need to have something called an endorsement to add on extra coverage in order for it to be protected in scenarios like this. Otherwise, if your jewelry was worth more than $1,500 and it wasn’t properly insured, you may be in a bit of a pickle.

Now, for another example.

Example 2: House swap theft

Let’s say you did a house swap with a couple you found on Facebook, and came back to find that they stole a bunch of stuff including cash, jewelry, TVs, and watches.

Unfortunately, since you willingly let others stay in your home, you’re actually on the hook for this.

To sum it all up, don’t let strangers into your home and always make sure you have enough coverage for your stuff! 

A few quick words, because we <3 our lawyers: This post is general in nature, and any statement in it doesn’t alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of the policies issued, which differ according to your state of residence. You’re encouraged to discuss your specific circumstances with your own professional advisors. The purpose of this post is merely to provide you with info and insights you can use to make such discussions more productive! Naturally, all comments by, or references to, third parties represent their own views, and Lemonade assumes no responsibility for them. Coverage may not be available in all states. Please note that statements about coverages, policy management, claims processes, Giveback, and customer support apply to policies underwritten by Lemonade Insurance Company or Metromile Insurance Company, a Lemonade company, sold by Lemonade Insurance Agency, LLC.  The statements do not apply to policies underwritten by other carriers.

Please note: Lemonade articles and other editorial content are meant for educational purposes only, and should not be relied upon instead of professional legal, insurance or financial advice. The content of these educational articles does not alter the terms, conditions, exclusions, or limitations of policies issued by Lemonade, which differ according to your state of residence. While we regularly review previously published content to ensure it is accurate and up-to-date, there may be instances in which legal conditions or policy details have changed since publication. Any hypothetical examples used in Lemonade editorial content are purely expositional. Hypothetical examples do not alter or bind Lemonade to any application of your insurance policy to the particular facts and circumstances of any actual claim.