Home break-in statistics

Home burglaries have gone down 73% over the past 10 years. Homeowners insurance covers theft. Here’s the latest facts and figures on home burglaries in 2022.

Kara McGinley

By

Kara McGinley

Kara McGinley

Editor & Licensed Home Insurance Expert

Kara McGinley is an editor and licensed home insurance expert at Policygenius, where she writes about homeowners and renters insurance. As a journalist and as an insurance expert, her work and insights have been featured in Kiplinger, Lifehacker, MSN, WRAL.com, and elsewhere.

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Home break-in rates may be on the decline, but it’s still a very real issue: Over 1.5 million homes fell victim to property crimes in 2020, according to the FBI. [1] This resulted in a combined loss of $17.5 billion, not including arson crimes. Fortunately, your homeowners insurance coverage can protect your home and belongings in case you end up on the wrong side of these statistics. 

Home break-ins by the numbers  

  • 522,426 burglaries occurred in the U.S. in 2020 [2]

  • 62% of those burglaries were home break-ins [3]

  • 24% of all burglaries were committed by people who knew their victim in 2020 [4]

  • $2,661 was the average loss per burglary in 2019 [5]

  • 290,909 home burglaries took place during the daytime in 2019 [6]

  • 56% of burglaries involved forcible entry in 2019 [7]

  • 38% of burglars walked into an unlocked home in 2019 [8]

  • 1.4 million firearms were stolen during home burglaries and other property crimes from 2005 to 2010 [9]

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Home break-ins per year

Home burglaries decreased 73% over the past 10 years, according to our analysis of FBI data. [10] [11] Here’s a look at how the numbers shake out.

YearNumber of home burglaries
20101,402,214
20111,430,740
20121,381,122
20131,428,448
20141,253,915
20151,136,664
20161,054,470
2017942,734
2018685,766
2019576,607
2020377,805

Does homeowners insurance cover home break-ins?

Yes, homeowners insurance protects your home and personal property in the event of a break-in. This includes replacing items that were stolen, as well as covering damage to your home caused by the break-in.

When it comes to replacing your stolen property, how much your insurance company shells out depends on what type of policy you have.

  • Replacement cost home policy: Your insurer pays for your belongings as if they were new.

  • Actual cost value policy: Your insurer pays for your belongings based on their depreciated value.

Most standard homeowners insurance policies come with actual cost value coverage for personal property. However, you can add on replacement cost coverage for an additional expense. While replacement cost policies are more expensive, it may be worth it to ensure your belongings are fully protected.

→ Learn more: Actual cost value vs. replacement cost insurance policies

Expensive or rare personal property comes with coverage sublimits

When it comes to more expensive personal property — like jewelry, fire arms, and fine china — insurers set a sublimit, which is basically a cap on how much they’ll pay out for a theft loss. For example, Firearms typically have a collective sublimit of $2,500, so your insurer won’t pay out any more than that for covered theft loss. 

How to protect your home from break-ins and save on homeowners insurance

You can protect your home from break-ins by fortifying it with things like burglary alarms and smart cameras. And bonus: You may even get a discount from your home insurance company for practicing these. Many insurers offer discounts if you make your home safer, because that means you’re less likely to file a claim. 

The table below compares the average annual cost of homeowners insurance vs. the average cost when you install safety features like deadbolts, smoke alarms, and burglary alarms.

Average cost of homeowners insuranceAverage cost with a deadboltPercentage differenceAverage cost with a smoke alarmPercentage differenceAverage cost with a burglar alarmPercentage difference
$1,899$1,897-0.09%$1,892-0.37%$1,846-2.97%

→ Take a deeper dive into homeowners insurance and theft