How much does homeowners insurance cover for theft?

When a break-in occurs, home insurance can compensate you for financial losses. (iStock)

A home break-in can be a stressful experience, both emotionally and financially if you're the victim of theft or damage to your personal property. After reporting a break-in to the police, your next phone call may be to your homeowners insurance company to file a claim.

There are several elements of home insurance that can help make you financially whole following a burglary or theft. Understanding what may be covered and how the insurance claims process works can make picking up the pieces after a break-in easier to navigate.

If you'd like to learn more about home insurance and whether you're protected, head to Credible. Credible has partners to give you a free quote. Plus, it only takes two minutes of your time.

HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE: WHAT IT COVERS AND HOW IT WORKS

How much coverage is provided under a homeowners policy for theft?

Homeowners insurance protections are designed to provide financial recompense for damages or losses caused by specific events. Your policy should spell out what covered losses are included but in most cases, it protects your home by providing coverage for:

  • Damages to your dwelling, including those resulting from a break-in
  • Damages to or theft of personal property
  • Damages to other structures on the property, such as a detached garage or shed

Dwelling coverage, personal property and other structures coverage limits and deductibles can depend on the terms of your policy. Coverage for the dwelling is usually determined by what it would cost to rebuild your home if it were totally destroyed. As a rule of thumb, insurance agencies typically provide personal belongings coverage at 50% to 70% of your dwelling's coverage.

Head to Credible to get a better understanding of the different types of home insurance coverage. Click on Credible's home insurance partners to get a free home insurance quote.

Your policy can cover the cost of property damage, as well as the cost to repair or replace personal belongings when a theft or break-in occurs. So for example, if a burglar breaks a window to gain entry to your home or steals your laptop, your policy can help cover the cost.

However, keep in mind that there may be limitations as to what your home insurance will pay for when a theft, vandalism or other property damages occur. For instance, if a burglar also breaks into your vehicle and damages it or removes personal belongings, you'd need to file a claim with your car insurance company for those losses.

If you're shopping for home insurance for the first time or you're interested in moving to a new insurance company, it's helpful to get at least one homeowners insurance quote. You can visit Credible today to explore your home insurance options.

YOUR HOMEOWNERS INSURANCE POLICY SHOULD INCLUDE THESE 3 ITEMS, ACCORDING TO FINANCIAL EXPERTS

How do I file a claim?

The first thing to do following a break-in is to make sure your home is secured and that the person who broke in has left the property. You can then contact the police to file the appropriate report. After that, it's important to start the claims process as soon as possible. To do that, you'll need to contact your home insurance company to file a claim. You may be asked to provide a copy of the police report when you initiate the claim.

It's also a good idea to document any damage to your home or evidence of theft. Again, that might include things such as broken windows and damaged door frames or the removal of a wall-mounted TV and other personal property. It's also important to make sure the home is properly secured, so you may need to replace doors or window locks. If you do so, keep records of what you spent and where so you can get those costs reimbursed from the insurance company.

Once your home insurance claim is underway, you'll be assigned a claims adjuster to assess the extent of the damage. You'll need to pay your deductible and the claims process will wrap up with the insurance company making a determination about what to pay out to you based on your covered losses.

Having enough insurance is vital. Having the appropriate insurance coverage is just as important. To ensure your insurance is suitable for your circumstances, visit Credible to check out plans, providers, and costs.

HOW MUCH DOES HOME INSURANCE COST?

How to make sure your homeowners insurance protects you

While a break-in is something you hopefully never have to deal with, there are things you can do to plan for a worst-case scenario. Creating a home inventory, for example, can make it easier to identify any personal belongings that might be missing after a burglary. You can also research homeowners insurance policies to find the best coverage option for your needs and budget.

When comparing options, pay attention to insurance costs, as well as insurance protections. For instance, check into bundling and other home insurance discounts that could make a new policy more affordable. Using an insurance calculator or visiting a site like Credible to compare home insurance companies and shop their plans can help narrow down your choices.