Did you ever have something taken from you? You could be talking about your phone, laptop or jewelry. Sadly, almost everyone will experience this unfortunate circumstance at one point or another.
According to Statista, 2017, there were 7,694,086 cases of property theft. That’s more than the entire population of Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago combined.
How can you soften the blow other than carrying your backpack across your chest or installing an alarm system and heavy locks?
Turns out, if your stuff is stolen inside or outside your home, renters insurance can help reimburse! Your renters insurance policy can help alleviate some serious anxiety when it comes to theft – it insures your phone on the subway and your laptop at the coffee shop.
What is Renters Insurance?
Renters insurance can protect you and your belongings if you rent your home. This is something most people don’t realize. Your landlord is responsible for any damage to the walls and structure of your home, but they don’t have responsibility for your personal belongings.
Renters insurance usually covers three types: Personal property, personal responsibility, and additional living expenses (or ‘loss of usage’ as insurance-speak). What does all this mean?
- Personal property coverage – This covers the cost of replacing your belongings in case they are stolen or damaged by an insured risk (called ‘named peril’ in insurance-speak).
- Liability coverage – protects you if a guest is injured in your home, or if you accidentally damage someone else’s property
- Loss of Use – Helps pay for your hotel bills and storage costs if your house becomes unlivable due to fire or windstorm.
Notice: Your insurance company will reimburse your claim if it is approved. Let’s suppose your iPhone was stolen for $750 and you had $250 deductible. Your insurer would pay $500.
If you want to know more read our guide on what is renters insurance and what it covers.
What is renters insurance coverage for theft?
Your renters insurance will cover most of your stuff for theft both inside and outside your home, including electronic items, furniture, clothing, and jewelry – as long as you’ve purchased enough coverage for ’em!
What does “enough coverage” mean? Each coverage type (personal property, personal responsibility, loss of use, etc.) is discussed in detail. ), your insurer will indicate your coverage limit- how much they can pay you if something happens.
Your insurance company will pay up to $30,000 to cover your personal property (aka your stuff) if you choose $30,000 in coverage. Your renters insurance company will only pay $10,000 if you have $10,000 in personal property coverage. If more than $10,000 is stolen, the company will only pay $10,000 (minus your deductible). If you’d like some help figuring out how much your stuff is worth, check out this quick guide.
You should also be aware that renters insurance doesn’t cover theft in certain circumstances. If you check your luggage on an airline, and they’re stolen in their possession, your renters insurance policy won’t cover you – because your item was in the possession of a third party.
Plus, if your insurer decides you were responsible for the theft due to negligence, like leaving the keys in your front door or leaving your bicycle unlocked — they might decide not to approve your claim.
What if my stuff were stolen from outside my home?
Renters insurance also covers theft from outside your home. This is one of the best benefits. This means that you are protected in the event your laptop is stolen at a local coffee shop or someone steals your phone while you are on the subway.
What’s the coverage radius? Even while abroad, your personal items are covered against theft!
Let’s say that you are on a business trip and your iPad is missing from your hotel room. Your renters insurance policy may cover you if your phone is stolen while you’re out dancing at a festival. In short, there are a lot of common situations renters insurance covers you for.
Is renters insurance available to cover theft of bicycles or cars?
Renters insurance does cover bike theft — Hallelujah! You’re covered, regardless of whether your bike was stolen from you apartment or taken outside your local gym.
Renters insurance does not cover car theft. Your auto insurance will cover cars separately. Renters insurance covers you in the event that your personal items like laptops or sports equipment are stolen from your car.
Is renters insurance able to cover cash stolen?
Renters insurance does cover stolen cash but not up to $200
Why? It would be tempting to say that someone took $10,000 of your cash in order to get a quick payday.
Here’s the good news. If $200 of cash was stolen from you by someone else, your insurance company can reimburse you for the $200 without any deductible. You’re a winner!
However, if your backpack was stolen with your phone, laptop and cash, you would claim the cash and subtract the deductible from the total value.
Is renters insurance able to cover the theft of laundry?
It sure does! It covers nearly all your belongings, even your most treasured pair of jeans or your favourite workout outfit. Renters insurance will cover you if your laundry is stolen from the laundry room in your apartment building, at home, or elsewhere.
Pay attention to the fact that renters insurance won’t cover laundry services where someone is paying you for it. Only items that are stolen from your possession are covered.
Is renters insurance able to cover the theft of belongings of others?
It depends. It depends on how closely you are related to each other. Your policy will cover your husband if his noise-canceling headphones are stolen. You should also be aware that your personal property coverage limits cover all members of your family. Make sure you set the limits to what you are comfortable with.
If your stuff is valued at $20,000 and your husband’s stuff is worth another $20,000 you will want $40,000 personal property coverage.
If you’re currently living with your significant other but haven’t made it down the aisle, you’ll need to add bae as an ‘additional insured’ on your policy, which costs just a few extra bucks a month. The same applies to your S/O: Make certain you have sufficient personal property coverage to protect both of you.
What about your roommate? Oder a friend dropping in to visit? They are not covered by your policy. Get your own policy! Tell them to get their own!
Is renters insurance able to cover the theft of my roommate?
If your roommate takes your stuff, it can be a difficult situation. Your policy may also cover them (i.e. If they are your significant other, or a close relative to you, then they will be covered.
Your renters insurance will cover you if you are not a named suspect on a police report. However, there are some things you need to do. First, your roommate must be named as a suspect in a police report. You would then have to choose to file charges against them.
What can I do to prevent theft?
Although it’s nice to have insurance in case something is stolen we would prefer that it never happens. These are some ways you can reduce the chance of theft.
Lock it up
Make sure you have new locks installed when you move in to your apartment. These locks may even be purchased by your landlord. This will ensure that you don’t get unwanted visits from your landlord or become a target for burglary. You should also make sure that you don’t write anything about your address on your keys or anywhere else.
Keep your eyes peeled
Always double- and triple-check any request to enter your home by anyone requesting entry. An’maintenance worker’ may ask to enter your home in the pretense of fixing something on the property. Or they might claim that your landlord sent them.
It’s easier to be negligent about security when someone else’s property is ours. However, it’s a good idea to not allow anyone to enter your home without first being informed by your landlord or having a badge that validates their identity.
Get to know your neighbors and see who is coming in and out of your building. You might also want to alert authorities if you see unfamiliar faces.
Although it may seem like you are the only one Instagramming, remember that cyberspace can be dangerous. You should keep track of the information you post online and make sure your phone number and home address are not made public. To defraud authorities or break into homes, criminals could use phone numbers and home addresses as clues.
Life isn’t easy. There are many obstacles that we have to overcome, and theft is unfortunately one of them.
Renters insurance is a smart decision. It covers you for more than theft.