Renters insurance covers theft, including stolen packages
If your deductible price is higher than the price of your package it might not be worth it to file a claim
Many insurance providers offer discounts if you take safety measures to protect your belongings, like installing a deadbolt or security camera at your door
If you’re renting an apartment, condo, house, or even a room, it’s a good idea to purchase renters insurance. Some landlords require you to purchase a certain amount of renters insurance coverage, but even if they don’t, it’s still a smart insurance product to invest in as a renter. Renters insurance is reasonably priced as well, costing on average around $16 a month.
Renters insurance is financial protection in the event that your personal property gets stolen, damaged, or destroyed by a covered peril. This means instead of having to pay to buy your belongings all over again after a fire, your renters insurance will reimburse you for your personal property.
Renters insurance also protects your personal liability, so if someone gets hurt on your property, your renters policy can help pay for some of their medical bills. If your rental becomes uninhabitable due to a covered peril, like a leak, your renters insurance loss-of-use coverage can reimburse you the cost of having to stay at a hotel.
Renters insurance policies do consider theft to be a covered peril, but there are some factors you should consider before filing a renters insurance claim for your stolen package.
In this article:
Three components make up a typical renters insurance policy. You can choose how much of each type of coverage you want to purchase when you sign up for your policy, however some landlords might require you purchase up to a certain limit of coverage. Most renters insurance policies include:
Personal property coverage: Coverage for your belongings if they get destroyed, stolen, or damaged by a covered peril
Personal liability coverage: Protection for you if someone gets hurt on your property and needs medical attention or legal fees
Loss-of-use coverage or additional living expenses: Coverage if your dwelling becomes uninhabitable and you have to stay elsewhere
You can add additional riders to your policy if you want to increase coverage for a specific item, like expensive electronics or fine art collections. You can also add additional coverage if you live in an area with extreme weather, like an earthquake rider.
Renters insurance does cover theft, which is why it is probably a good investment if you live in an area with a high crime rate. Your insurance policy will cover your personal property even if you aren’t in your physical home. This means it will help you pay for your stolen items both if someone breaks into your apartment or steals your laptop at the airport.
This is also true if your package gets stolen off your porch or from your lobby — because it’s theft, renters insurance should reimburse you for the value of whatever was in your package. That being said, it might not actually be worth it for you to go through the process of filing a renters insurance claim over your stolen package, and you could even end up losing money in the long run from doing so.
When you file a personal property claim, you will need to pay your renters insurance deductible before your coverage steps in to cover the rest of the cost of your loss. Your deductible is that set amount of money you have to pay your insurance provider before your renters insurance coverage can kick in.
You choose your deductible when you sign up for your renters insurance policy. Most standard renters insurance deductibles for personal property coverage are either $500 or $1,000. This means if you file a claim and your deductible is $500, you must pay your provider your $500 deductible before they start reimbursing you for the price of your personal property.
Because deductibles normally cost $500 or $1,000 out of pocket, it might not be worth it to file a claim for your stolen package. For example, if your deductible is $500 and your package contained $300 worth of clothing, it doesn’t really make sense to file a claim since you will actually end up spending more money paying your deductible first.
On the other hand, if your package contained a very valuable item, it might actually exceed your policy’s limit. Your limit is the maximum amount of money your insurance provider will reimburse you after a covered loss. You should also consider the price of your premium. If you file a claim, your premium might go up, which means higher monthly payments.
Before you file a claim, you should check your tracking number to make sure your package was delivered to your rental. You should also contact the company you purchased your package from. They might be able to contact their shipping provider to track down the package. Depending on the company, they might send you a new package altogether on their own and then you don’t have to worry about filing a claim.
If this method proves to be futile, or if the company you bought your package from agrees that your package was stolen and not lost, then you should file a police report. In order to file a claim, your insurance provider will probably require a police report. You should provide the police with receipts and any other proof of purchase that you might have, like an email confirmation or shipping status. If you have a doorbell camera you can show the police the footage as well.
If you decide you want to move forward with paying your deductible and filing a claim, there are a few things you should have on hand when you file.
Your policy number
Your declarations page
Documentation (receipts, shipping confirmation)
The police report documenting the theft
A phone number for your insurance provider to easily reach you
You can usually file a claim over the phone or via your insurance provider’s website or app. Once you file your claim, your provider will assign you a claims adjuster. Your claims adjuster will investigate all of the documentation you provided, assess if your stolen package is a legitimate claim and help determine how much your payout will be.
Renters insurance considers theft a covered peril, but there are a few cases in which your policy will not fully reimburse you for your stolen package.
Your package exceeds your policy’s limit: If your package exceeds your policy’s limit, then your renters insurance will only reimburse you for some of your package. If you have a very expensive item, like a wedding ring, you can schedule a rider to add additional coverage to your policy and protect your big ticket belongings.
You can’t prove your package was stolen: If there is no documentation that your package was stolen or that you purchased your package, your renters insurance might not reimburse you for the cost.
There are some safety measures you can take if you are concerned about your packages getting stolen. These safety measures might make your renters insurance cheaper as well, because many insurance providers give discounts if you take necessary precautions in your home, like having a fire extinguisher in your apartment or a smoke alarm. When it comes to theft, some safety measures you could take are:
Deadbolt locks on your front door
Doorbell cameras (check with your landlord or property manager if you live in a condo or apartment)
Door codes to enter your building
Safety lock boxes with codes for delivery drivers
You can also consider having your packages delivered to a more secure location, like your local post office or your place of work.
Kara McGinley is an insurance editor at Policygenius, specializing in home, auto and renters insurance. She previously worked as a freelance writer and copywriter, and has been writing about insurance since 2019. Kara is an expert at making complicated topics like property insurance simple to understand. Her work can be found in Teen Vogue, The Culture Crush, and more.
Was this article helpful?