Does Renters Insurance Cover Theft Outside of Home?

(Here's what you need to know about your coverage)

Written by Ashley Surinak
Written by Ashley Surinak

Insurance doesn’t have to be boring. That’s why we hired Ashley Surinak to be our BA insurance writer. Ashley specializes in making mundane subjects hella-entertaining.

paul martin Reviewed by Paul Martin
paul martin
Reviewed by Paul Martin

Paul Martin is the Director of Education and Development for Myron Steves, one of the largest, most respected insurance wholesalers in the southern U.S.


Table of Contents

Does renters insurance cover theft outside of the home?
Are all of my personal property items covered by my renters insurance policy?
Is coverage for property kept outside of my home different than if the property were in my home?
How much personal property coverage do I need as part of my renters insurance policy?

Does renters insurance cover theft outside of the home?

I'm moving to a new apartment and I'm not sure if all of my furniture and personal belongings are going to fit. I'm considering renting a storage unit and putting my belongings there for the time being. 

However, I'm concerned about my belongings, especially because they're not on my property. Will my renters insurance policy cover this property or do need some sort of additional coverage?

Yes, renters insurance covers theft outside of the home. This applies whether property is stolen in a storage unit or even from the moving truck while you're in the process of moving. However, it isn't that simple.

Remember, renters insurance only covers a loss if it's a named peril. Theft is a named peril in most renters insurance policies, but it's still important to check this as a baseline for coverage. If theft is a named peril, it would cover a loss at your primary residence, at a storage unit, or even while you're traveling. 

It isn't the same coverage at each location — which I'll explain in greater detail below — but you can still have peace of mind knowing that if something's stolen, you won't be left to cover the entire loss on your own.

Are all of my personal property items covered by my renters insurance policy?

Most of your personal property items are covered by your renters insurance policy (whether those items are on or off the premises), but there are some exclusions. First, let's talk about some examples of property that's typically covered:

  • Clothing
  • Jewelry
  • Furniture
  • Electronics
  • Appliances

There's a catch — high-value items are typically excluded. High-value items could be anything from certain pieces of jewelry to antiques, arts, and other premium items. After all, what's "typically" covered might not be if it's worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. 

The general rule is that there are coverage limits per item. If your items exceed that limit, talk to your independent insurance agent to discuss how you can purchase additional policies for more coverage.

Is coverage for property outside of my home the same if the property were kept inside my home?

Most policies have different coverage limits depending on where property is kept. That being said, property that's stolen outside of your home will have a lower coverage limit than it would if it were at your home at the time of the theft. 

A lot of policies will simply cap coverage at a certain percentage of the coverage limit for each type of property. For example, if your personal property coverage limit is $25,000, 10% (the most commonly used percentage) of that total would be $2,500. 

This would be the coverage limit for anything stolen outside of your primary residence. 

Because the percentage of coverage and your policy limits will differ depending on your policy, it's good to talk to your independent insurance agent about how this would work with your property and policy.


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How much personal property coverage do I need as part of my renters insurance policy?

There's no one right answer to this. Everyone owns different amounts of property and at different valuations. However, the one factor that every individual should consider is how much it would cost to replace everything you own if it were damaged or destroyed. 

This requires you to sit down and make a list of the property you own and the general value for each item. Doing so is the best, most accurate way to decide how much personal property is right for you.

It's also important to keep in mind that coverage could be for the actual cash value (i.e. current market value of the items, accounting for depreciation) or replacement cost coverage (i.e. coverage at today's retail prices). 

If you're overwhelmed or want to discuss the value you believe works best for you, your independent insurance agent is a great resource.

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