Does Renters Insurance Cover Car Theft?

April 16, 2024

Car theft is a serious problem that every vehicle owner may face.

  • According to NICB, in 2022, over 1 million cars were stolen in the USA, which is 7% more than in 2021. This marks a record high in the last 14 years.

It’s essential to take all the necessary measures to avoid such a situation, including getting insurance.

An insurance policy is a reliable protection for your car against unforeseen circumstances, with theft being one of the key concerns. The crucial step is to choose the right coverage.

As of 2022, 34% of all Americans rent, while 66% own their homes, according to statistics.

Does Renters Insurance Cover Car Theft - NMHC

Source: NMHC

Therefore, many landlords have renters insurance. Does this policy cover car theft? Will renters insurance cover theft from car?

The material will teach you what this policy is and what types of theft it covers. This article will also answer one of the most popular questions to date: does renters insurance cover theft from car?

What Is Renters Insurance, and What Is Its Main Purpose?

Let’s examine its importance before answering the question, “Does renters insurance cover theft from your car? Primarily, the policy protects homeowners who rent out residential properties.

Its goal is to ensure the tenant’s personal belongings’ safety and protect them from theft, fire, water damage, vandalism, and some natural disasters.

Insurance compensation for damages extends to various categories of rented property: furniture, electronics, and other household appliances. The policy also includes liability coverage to safeguard tenants from accidental damage or injuries to third parties residing in the rented home or apartment.

Renters insurance does not cover damage to vehicles. We’ll talk a bit more about this later. For now, let’s find out how renters insurance works with different types of theft.

Renters Insurance Theft: What Types of Theft Does It Cover?

Renters insurance covers various types of theft, providing financial protection in case of loss or damage to property.

Let’s take a closer look at how the policy works for the most common types of theft:

  • Break-in theft: In most cases, the policy covers the loss of personal items in the event of a break-in. The insurance compensates for the damage within the established limit.
  • Theft outside the residence: Renters insurance compensates for personal items stolen outside the rented home or apartment, for example, from a car or during travel. This policy includes a mandatory deductible, and certain limits on insurance payouts may apply.
  • Vandalism: If your personal belongings are damaged or stolen due to intentional arson or other unlawful actions, the renter’s insurance will cover the losses.

To understand exactly which types of theft renters insurance will cover, carefully review the terms and limitations of the policy. This way, you can choose the most suitable option for yourself.

Factors Determining the Cost of Insurance Coverage

The average amount of insurance premiums will vary in different states and may also differ in various cities within the same state. This is because companies take into account many factors when calculating insurance contributions.

Let’s look at the most basic ones:

Coverage LevelSimilar policies cover the same risks (personal property, living expenses, and liability), but the level you choose, specifically the compensation amount, directly influences the cost. The higher it is, the more expensive your insurance will be.
DeductibleThe deductible is the portion of the funds not reimbursed by the insurance company. You cover it yourself. The larger the deductible, the lower your insurance premium, and vice versa.
Credit HistoryInsurers examine your credit rating to determine how well you manage your finances. A good credit history indicates that you are reliable and likely to pay insurance premiums on time. Insurers offer such customers lower rates.
Age and Condition of the PropertyThe newer the property you rent, the more affordable the insurance premium. In addition to the age of the building, insurers also consider its size—larger apartments usually cost more.

Does Renter Insurance Cover Theft?

Renters insurance cover car theft is an incorrect statement. This policy does not cover the replacement of a stolen car or other vehicles.

Renters insurance cover theft from car. In other words, it provides compensation for the destruction or loss of personal items, such as a mobile phone, laptop, or clothing, that were in the car and were stolen.

This is why we strongly recommend that vehicle owners take out a separate insurance policy for such incidents. Insurance companies offer various coverages for vehicles that provide compensation for damages resulting from theft.

How To Prevent Car Theft

Since renters insurance cover theft inside of car, not the vehicle itself, we recommend opting for comprehensive insurance that compensates for replacing a stolen car.

In addition to this, to avoid car theft, follow these recommendations:

  • Park your car primarily in public, official parking areas (both paid and unpaid). When, for example, choosing a hotel, always inquire about parking availability during booking. If there is none, ask where you can safely leave your car.
  • Do not leave the key in the ignition when you stop and need to get out of the car (at gas stations, near a store, supermarket, etc.).
  • Use mechanical anti-theft devices. Mechanical locks on individual components are an excellent means in case electronic systems are hacked. The simplest tool is a steering wheel lock that immobilizes it.
  • Use GPS trackers. This is another effective method of protection. This tool will not prevent car theft, but it will certainly help track and apprehend the thief.

Of course, it is essential to be vigilant and remember that only comprehensive security measures can make a difference.

What To Do If Your Car Is Stolen

So, does renters insurance cover theft of a car? Sadly, it doesn’t. But if you have auto insurance, you can take the following steps if your vehicle gets stolen:

Call the Police

When you discover that your vehicle has been stolen, the first thing you need to do is head to the nearest police station and file a report.

You may be asked to provide more detailed information about the car, such as the make, model, license plate number, color, and other distinctive features.

Notify the Insurance Company

Once the police formalities are completed, law enforcement will provide you with a document (a certificate) confirming the fact of the car theft. After that, be sure to inform your insurance company about the situation.

Usually, the time a person must report a stolen car, as stated in the general terms of insurance, can vary from 24 hours to 7 days.

Review Renters Insurance

Yes, renters insurance does not cover car theft. But along with the car, you probably lost your personal belongings. You should check which specific items are eligible for compensation under this policy. Therefore, if you find that your stolen items are included in the list, you must file a claim for compensation with the insurance company.

Cooperate with the Police and Insurance Company

Resolving the claim may take weeks or even months. During the investigation, you may be asked questions about your whereabouts, vehicle, etc. To expedite the process, cooperate with insurance agencies and law enforcement.


Car theft is a very unpleasant situation that anyone can face. To protect yourself from theft, park in safe places, don’t leave your car unlocked, use anti-theft devices, and take out insurance that covers the replacement of a stolen vehicle.

Renters insurance does not cover car theft but compensates for losing your personal items inside the car.

Frequently Asked Questions

Does renters insurance cover theft from my car?

Yes, the policy compensates for lost personal items inside a stolen car.

Does renters insurance cover theft while traveling?

Yes, the insurance covers the theft of personal items from the car, even during traveling.

Does renters insurance cover car damage?

No, the policy does not reimburse damage caused to the car due to theft. Renters insurance aims to protect personal belongings.

Victoria Berezhetska

Victoria Berezhetska is a Content Lead at and an expert contributor to CoverExplore. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration, with extensive working experience as a PR specialist and content writer. At CoverExplore, she helps customers find the right educational material through easily digestible blog posts and buying guides backing their insurance coverage choice. Victoria covers diverse topics around digital and insurance marketing, including auto, home, health, and life insurance.

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